When Should You Resign to Avoid Termination?
Sometimes, in a job, you get presented with a choice: resign willingly or get fired. Your boss may or may not give you a reason for the termination. You might not even get prior warning. The reasons may range from your performance being subpar to having complaints to downsizing your department to removing your position. Regardless, there are some things you should do before you voluntarily sign a resignation letter.
1. Weigh the Pros and Cons: Don't assume that resigning is better than being terminated. If you get fired, you may be eligible for unemployment. That can be extremely important when you're looking for a new job. You may also be entitled to a severance package, which would not be true if you simply left the company. However, it's usually detrimental to your job search when you have to tell a potential employee that you were fired, so weigh your decision carefully.
2. Ask About Severance: If you don't know the company policy on severance packages, ask H/R. If they really want you to resign, ask your boss or representative what they would be willing to pay for severance.
3. Get a Reference: Ask what kind of recommendation you'll get if you list your boss as a reference. If they're not willing to give you a good reference, it's not too different from being fired.
4. Ask For a Reason: If you don't know why your boss wants you to resign, just ask. They might not tell you, but it's good to know. You can also ask what reason would be given if a prospective employer calls your current boss and asks why you left this job.
5. Make Sure Everyone Agrees: H/R might have one thing on file, but your boss might say something else. Have a meeting with everyone in charge of severance, references, vacation and sick time. Make sure everyone agrees on the parting terms and that it's all in writing.