Resigning from a job is never easy. But whether it’s the fact that a new role is the only way to develop your career or that the working environment has changed, sometimes it’s the best decision for you to make.
The relationships involved in providing care to families makes quitting a caregiving job just that little bit harder. So how do you go about resigning while minimizing the impact as much as possible?
Below are 7 steps to quitting your caregiver job to follow when you decide the time is right:
1. Have a new job ready
Make sure you apply to jobs and have one ready to go before you quit. If you quit your old job with nothing to go to, you can end up being desperate if you don’t find something right away. Prospective employers can sense desperation and it’s a real turn-off. Being without a job also makes prospective employers wonder why you’re unemployed and they may jump to false conclusions.
2. Give plenty of notice
You provide valuable caregiving services for your employers and they will need time to find your replacement, which is not always an easy process. Giving no notice will leave your employer in a bad situation and give you a bad reputation (tales of your hasty departure may spread and hurt your ability to get a job in the future). Two weeks’ notice is typical.
3. Give your notice in person
Once you’ve made the decision to move on inform your current employer in the most professional way, in-person. Regardless of your occupation, when you have decided to leave your current position you must inform your immediate employer in person.
Just like any text or email, doing so electronically takes tone out of the message and your sympathy for causing the employers’ loss won’t translate. Do the right thing, look the person in the eye and let them know that it is time for you to move on. This way you can convey professionalism, integrity and honesty to the now-former employer.
If you want to do it in writing, through a letter of resignation, you should still have a personal conversation while handing over the letter.
4. Be professional
Always be gracious, tactful and professional. You want to part with your employer in a spirit of gratitude and kindness. Thank them for the opportunity to work for them. Tell them what you appreciate about the time you’ve spent in their employ. Be genuine and authentic. Even if you hated your job, think of something, even one thing, you can express gratitude for.
5. Be mindful of the children
Quitting is an adult conversation, so make sure you schedule a time to have a face-to-face with your employer. Once you have “the talk,” ask your employer how to approach it with the children. Let the parent take the lead. Once the children know, be careful about how you talk about your decision to quit.
Are you looking for a new childcare job? Find one in your area now.
6. Leave emotions out of it
Stay neutral in the conversation with broad perspectives such as, ‘It’s time for me to make a change’ or ‘I really feel the call to do something different, now. Details are not important at this point and can only potentially hurt feelings. Keep a happy demeanour and perceive your new shift as a good one and your employer’s attitude will follow your lead.
7. Inquire into final salary
Make sure you’re paid for any work you’ve done. The laws about handling last paychecks are different in every province — and vary depending on if you quit vs. were fired. Before you talk to your employer, check with your province labour department to see what you’re entitled to.
Make sure the family has your mailing address, so they can send you a ROE and let them know if you move at some point during the rest of the year. You’re required to report this income and the family only has to attempt to send the ROE to the last known address.
No matter how you approach it, announcing your decision to quit is always tough. Follow this advice to make the conversation easier on you, your employer and your charges.