It takes extraordinary people to be able to keep their job nowadays. According to the government survey last month, about 100,000 people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic in 2020. So if you’re still employed, it largely means your value has enabled you to survive. Congratulations on that.
Your company, though in a difficult situation with each passing day, manages to pull through due to the herculean efforts of everyone involved. Yes, herculean never say die efforts by individual employees have enabled the employer to make difficult choices on who to keep and whom to let go.
But crisis times in companies are a dime a dozen. They are so common even in good times and are part and parcel of working life. Petty politics are the same too yet there have been friends and colleagues who have resigned over these very issues and some have even developed a high anxiety that it affects them emotionally. We have met people who are so employee minded, that they feel they might just be sacked over these common issues. Every day at work, they take it like it’s their last day.
Have you ever felt like resigning because of office politics, or even worse, there is some terrible work coming your way? And even though everyone around you says things like, “Yes, we can do it”, “We will support you”, you know deep inside that all these colleagues will somehow cleverly abandon you at the last minute and everything will fall squarely on your shoulders. Sound familiar?
But it seems you have a plan to outsmart them this time. You will just suddenly tender your resignation and leave in 24 hours. As you leave the doors of the company, you feel a huge burden lifted. “Good riddance,” you think to yourself. How many times have we heard this type of story? Perhaps you have been here too.
Unless of course it was really a terrible company which neglected to pay your EPF for a year and not inform you or there was some sexual harassment, escaping from handling problems, challenges or crisis at your workplace is self defeating. We say this because at the interview, you will be asked this very important question:
“Why did you leave your last job?”
And its related question
“Why should we hire you?”
The conclusion is: You must have a very good reason to resign and it must have little to do with politics and even lesser to do with problems.
As a wise man once said, “We come to work to solve problems”
So,… If you ran away…, in 24 hours…, you decided not to face the problems. You sent a terrible message to your boss without realising how terrible it really is and also to your future employer. You also decided not to be crisis tested even when you were abandoned or politicised over. Thereby, your resume will not carry the distinction of a true problem solver, dedicated to your role or ownership to see things through in the midst of crisis and help lift that difficult assignment off the ground, or rally like minded colleagues to the same mission, even delegating some tasks with diplomacy. If you had done these and not surrender your ownership, you will be able to answer that question, “Why should we hire you?” with distinction.
The Distinct Value
This is the value that you could have brought to your current job which others could not. Put on the eyes of a business owner who has no other company to fight for except his own. Who else will he hire or promote except the one who has the same head as himself
All problems at work no matter how severe are as normal as the rising and setting sun. There are other problems out of your KPI and JD which your employer is not even telling you and.., has no choice but to sail his ship into that storm.
“Why did you leave your last job?”
So, If the interviewer asks you, “Why did you leave your last job?”, You could explain how over the course of working there, you had managed quite so many challenges that even when it felt tiring and hopeless, you achieved the success that was needed for numerous projects, kept things together and although you are leaving that job to look for new challenges, you still have a great relationship with your previous company. You even have a precious little souvenir from your old boss; A testimonial. It tells the future employer what a great asset you are.
No one who has ever resigned in the way we’ve described here would ever get that golden letter.
The response above is of incredible value as opposed to the one below.
“I’m leaving the company because it has too much politics and too many problems.”
What do you mean by this? If you were pressed to elaborate, you will have to mention names and run down people. Also, you might end up rambling an incoherent story which you didn’t prepare, opening a Pandora’s Box and blow up the interview.
So here we are. When in a job, do the following:
- Work and develop good relationships.
- Resign properly with good standing and for good reasons.
- Get that testimonial – the result of good work and standing together in difficult times.
- Resign over challenges, crisis and politics. It’s bad for your resume.
- Miss the chance to handle or lead in problem solving.
- Don’t run away.
- Resign in 24 hours over weak reasons. (There must be severe reasons for this)
Just look at the great leaders of the world whose life’s work was tempered by crisis. Mandela, Gandhi, Wiesenthal and others long ago.
A person is special because he or she are gifted to do so many different things, but a person is exceptional and desirable for a role because they are able to stand and persevere with hardships. They overcome difficult challenges and solve problems while keeping things together.