We’ve all heard of quiet quitting, where working professionals complete their assigned responsibilities at work without going beyond the bare minimum. But besides quiet quitters, there is another, more lethal force which comes as an even bigger blow to your workforce productivity. And that’s disgruntled employees who are willing to quit without a job lined up for them.

After experiencing pandemic-related uncertainty and stress, many people want more personal time to enjoy their lives rather than subscribing to hustle culture and spending their evenings at work.

According to Randstad’s 2022 Workmonitor survey research, 45% of Hongkongers would rather be unemployed than feel unhappy in their jobs.

how hongkongers value work life balance
how hongkongers value work life balance

Recruitment rates have been increasing at an astronomical rate across APAC, making it an opportune time for professionals to consider a career change. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of leaving your current job before making big decisions.

Find out why people resign without a job lined up and what you should know before throwing in the towel.

4 reasons for leaving a job

1. desire for better compensation

Salary and benefits is the top employer value proposition (EVP) prioritised by today’s professionals.

Our employer brand research revealed that 60% of Hongkongers want to work for employers that offer attractive salaries and benefits.

And this comes as no surprise, as countries around the world grapple with rising inflation rates and people are more concerned about their job security than ever. It’s critical that your employer pays you a fair salary for your time, skills, and experience.

Do some research to find out if your salary reflects the level of experience and education you have, as well as the value you bring to your company. If your salary is way below the market average, then it might be more practical to look for a job that compensates you fairly instead of staying with your current employer.

2. the need for more flexibility at work

Job flexibility is a top factor that is increasingly motivating people to change jobs, especially as work-life balance is increasingly valued by working professionals.

Besides revealing that people wouldn’t work in jobs they’re unhappy in, our Hong Kong Workmonitor survey research showed that 35% wouldn’t accept a job if it didn’t provide flexibility around work hours

As pandemic measures ease up, some employers expect their workforce to be back in the office more often. However, focusing on presenteeism can often be more harmful where workplace productivity is concerned.

Some people are more productive while working remotely as they don’t have to contend with many in-person meetings or impromptu conversations. Others are able to get more work done when they have the freedom to decide when they want to work while balancing chores and family care.

If your current role doesn't provide the work flexibility you need to maintain a good work-life balance or if your work interferes with your personal lives, you can spend your efforts finding a more suitable employer to work for.

3. prioritising your health

Illness and age-related health issues can make work extremely challenging. If your job is causing you to fall sick often or compromise on your physical and mental health, it may be time to look for employment opportunities from companies that value their employees' wellbeing.

The Talent Expectations Survey in our Reimagine Work white paper found that 68% of respondents across Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia and Singapore said that overwhelming workloads have led to a poor work-life balance for them. 27% also said that they dislike hybrid work because they fear missing out on work and promotion opportunities if they are not physically present at the office.

Having to be in the office to take advantage of new opportunities and having additional workload seems like a double whammy. However, it is a risk that many career-driven individuals are willing to take at the expense of their mental and physical health.

Don’t let your career consume your life. It’s important to take a break from employment and take the time to build and enjoy your life outside of work for a healthy balance and mental health support.

4. the need for a career change

Having a meaningful career is important to today’s employees. This means that we want to work in a career or industry that we are passionate about so that we enjoy what we do.

It is common for people to change their careers to seek growth opportunities. Some switch jobs to renew their interest in their professional lives to one that they would rather work in. They may switch from accounting to marketing, or from marketing to UX design. Whatever it is, you will need to take time to go back to school to get additional certifications or enrol in another programme.

It’s good to know what you want to do, and wanting a career change is one of the common reasons why many people quit without a job lined up for them.

factors to consider before quitting your job
factors to consider before quitting your job

what to consider when leaving your job

Before you tender your resignation letter, it’s good to think about whether it’s the right move for your career at the moment, especially as job markets become increasingly competitive across Southeast Asia.

1. financial security

When quitting your job, the top consideration is how much savings you need to tide you through until you get a new job. Without a steady cash flow, the cost of daily necessities can quickly drain your bank account. Besides your income, other benefits you may have received at your company will also affect your finances - such as subsidised health insurance or corporate discounts.

To calculate how much money you need to save, consider your living expenses such as groceries, rent, transportation, and purchases for the lifestyle you want to live.

Additionally, it’s important to consider having a potential pay cut in your next job if you’re switching industries or changing the way you work, whether that’s reducing your hours or adjusting your workload.

2. career pathway options

Before resigning from your job, ask yourself if you have a clear career path forward.

While you may be frustrated and tempted to quit your job right away, it might be prudent to wait and leave at a good moment instead. For example, if you’re nine months into a job you feel unfulfilled in, it might be better to finish a year of work in your current company before resigning, as overly short job tenures can be a red flag towards prospective employers.

It’s also necessary to consider if you have enough education and experience to make the switch to a different industry if you want to. Rather than making an impulsive decision, it could be worth biding your time to talk to experts from the industry to learn about what they do and what your career path could look like.

3. maintaining professional relationships

When quitting your job, one of the most important - and sometimes, the most challenging - things to do is to keep cordial relationships with your existing colleagues. This step is crucial towards growing your career potential for the future.

Not only will this help you maintain a good reputation in your industry, but you’ll be able to ask for character references for your next job. If the industry you work in is small, like in medicine or public relations, there’s even the chance that you could work with people from your current company again in the future - as colleagues, clients or vendors.

4. explaining an employment gap on your resume

When you’re taking time away from work, the employment gap on your resume can pose a challenge during future interviews.

Being honest is the best way to explain your career break. You can tell your employer about the sabbatical you took off work to focus on external pursuits for rest and recreation, or that you’ve taken time off to upskill.

One thing that you don’t want to do is lie about your time off - for example, saying you worked at a certain company when you didn’t, as it would be very easy to debunk that statement through a background check.

looking for a fulfilling career?

It can be especially difficult to navigate the job market without the reassurance of having a job lined up. So it’s important that you plan carefully so you don’t end up panicking about your finances or your career trajectory.

If you’re a job seeker looking for promising career growth opportunities, check out our job listings. Our talented team of recruitment specialists can connect you with employers with great company culture from various industries. Alternatively, while you’re waiting for the job role you really want, try taking on contract jobs.

For resources to help you make informed decisions during your job search, visit our career advice hub for valuable resources that help you plan your career journey.

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