Quit or Get Fired: Which Is Best for You Now?

You are hearing Billie's "I had a dream, I got everything I wanted…" as your alarm clock. Another cold morning, another 6:30 a.m., another day to work. Demotivating tasks, toxic boss, and you –– counting minutes before going home and finally being free.

But does every day have to start like that? Let's see if there's something you can do about your job.

Changing Your Job: Quit or Get Fired?

If you are fed up with your current position, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably leaving this job –– for a more engaging role. And that's quite understandable. But though you can be obsessed by emotions now, think of objective reasons behind this decision — for example, these four.

Reasons to Leave Job

  • Low salary. This one is objectively the crucial factor. Have you worked for this company for 2 years but they haven't raised your pay since then? Do you feel you are worth more, but your boss ignores your payroll review? Or have your tasks multiplied without proper remuneration? There may be more reasons why your salary is still low, but if your managers don't react to your requests, it's time to go somewhere else.

  • Demotivating environment. Even when the payroll is good, work can be uninspiring, so we subconsciously want to quit. If managers ignore your achievements, promote other people, don't keep their promises, avoid communication, and don't give development opportunities, such a job will only demotivate you.

  • Toxic communication. Sure, your managers have good intentions. But if after talking to them you often feel dejected or emotionally dried up, think again. "Innocent" comments that hide irritation, sarcasm, or gaslighting are favorite tricks that toxic people use. If someone doubts your sanity or goes back on his words, why do you have to put up with this?  

  • Fear of being fired. Some managers instill fear in employees to control them and pour off negative emotions. And this tactic works when you are afraid to lose your job, and it's time to think why. Usually, if your boss threatens to dismiss you, it's time to take yourself out of this company, for it will never be better. But what stops you from doing so?

Getting Fired and Quitting: Pros and Cons

So now you understand you have to change your job immediately. And you know there are two ways to do that: quit or get fired. Though getting fired can sound terrible, in some cases, it even has advantages. Let's see. 

Getting fired

The main benefit of being fired is the unemployment compensation you become eligible for. And you can negotiate severance pay that will help you until you land a new job and allow you to keep the insurance coverage. Another good point is that the painful decision is finally made. 

Among the cons of getting fired is the stress you face, especially when this hasn't happened to you before (this is true for almost everyone). Moreover, you'll have to explain the situation to your future employer. And this record may damage your working credibility and affect your CV.


Now let's consider the other option –– when you initiate the dismissal. The first thing you get after resigning is psychological relief. In this case, you can control the date of termination and negotiate other terms. 

The main disadvantage is you get no severance package and unemployment benefits. 

So, if you want to quit, plan this. Save money for 2-6 months –– until you find a new position or get the first salary in a new role. Circumstances can change even when everything is agreed upon, so you need to have some finances secured. And though it sounds trivial, it's better not to leave until you find a new job. The getting fired option is better only due to its guaranteed financial aid from the State.

Legal Issues: Notice Terms and Your Rights

Ask your HR about benefits

When leaving a job, it's essential to exercise all rights and use all benefits this option secures. First, you need to check your employment contract as it can state important items like terms of the notice or non-compete requirement. Remember that you will get paid for every worked day before the termination date, and the earned payroll is to be transferred in full. A good option is to ask your HR for any post-termination compensations you are eligible for. 

Check your case against the EEOC guidelines

If you think that your company is going to fire you for an unlawful reason, check the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This body has guidelines that prohibit discrimination or harassment at work, so check if your case falls under the scope of that document and be ready to defend yourself.

What to Say to Your Next Employer

Any employer will ask you about the reason for leaving your previous job, so think over the answer in advance. Remember that the reason has to coincide with what your former employer says –– in case the new one contacts him. Try to approach this issue delicately, but give relevant reasons. Explain that you wish for new experience, promotion, or higher payroll. Or, maybe someone else was invited for the role you aimed at, and you understood it was time to leave. And saying that you want to try something new because you spent several years with the previous company also sounds fair.  

To Sum It Up

Leaving a job is never an easy decision. But whether to tell your boss about it first or let yourself be fired is even a more challenging choice. Still, each option has its own pros and cons –– you only have to consider them. In short, one should better plan his leave: save some funds, find a better job, and then inform the manager about the intention to quit. While getting fired "secures" unemployment pay to you, you'll have to explain this incident to the subsequent employers. So, plan your career thoroughly and think twice before doing.


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