‘Boss, I Quit!’ and What Happens Next



In the last two weeks, we’ve been exploring the concept of starting over a career. Last week post takes a closer look at one of the important junctions of career start over- involuntary terminations. For this week, let’s take a closer look at the next one on the list: voluntary termination or, in other words, ‘I quit‘.

I’ve had many clients tell me “ I had to quit. I couldn’t take it anymore!” And though it might appear as if I’m detached from their very personal experiences as well as the struggle that led to their decisions (needless to say that it’s pointless anyway since they are already out of the door), my response is usually with the question of how did you quit followed by the admonishing words of “no; you shouldn’t have.” It would have been nice to find another job before someone calls it a quit, but if the die has been cast, let’s explore how one could start over:

  • Consider whether the job should be a part of your work history or not. See my suggestions on involuntary terminations: http://usaafricanimmigrantsgist.com/2015/09/28/starting-over-your-career-when-the-past-must-also-trail-behind/
  • If you can, take a moment to reflect on what went wrong. Remember, everything that happened there before you quit, good or bad, are all yours to keep. They are part of your life experiences and should all go into your knowledge bank. A moment of reflection would help you in your attempts to leave the past and embrace the future.
  • If you are eligible for public support or welfare such as unemployment/SSI/SSD/TANF/Medicaid/ and etc, go straight to those offices to submit your application. It’s great if you get it, but be mindful. Don’t wait until benefit runs low or runs out  before you become driven and actively searching for job.
  • It would have been nice to plan your finance before quitting. If you didn’t at the time, then you must confront the financial challenges and make decisions at this point. My suggestion is to be very careful maintaining a living off your savings (if you have any) as they get depleted quicker if nothing is coming in.
  • Depending on where you are financially, consider volunteering to keep busy, do internship to gain knowledge in a new field (see my suggestions on internship here:http://usaafricanimmigrantsgist.com/2015/09/06/we-do-more-than-flipping-burgers/) or get into a training program right away. Caution: please do your research to ensure this training program aligns with your career goal. It should theme with your previous job experiences or should be one leg ahead towards your career start over. I’ve seen candidates who got into programs like this just to kill time. You want to kill time, but you also want to gain time. Be strategic.
  • Depending on how buoyant you are both financially and emotionally, this suggestion is paramount: begin contacting staffing agencies right away to know what their job orders are and how they are accepting applications for their positions. Accepting temporary positions while searching for the real deal is certainly a good idea. I advise using good judgment when engaging staffing agencies. My preference is with the ones that charge you nothing. They are not working for you, but for the companies that contracted them to recruit for their positions and as such they are transparent about the process and pretty straightforward about what they are looking for. Additionally, since it’s in their interest to deliver, they won’t give you B.S. If your resume identifies you as a potential candidate, they’ll reach out without waiting until the whole world finishes submitting application for that position.  Finally, always know that you’d have nothing to lose (well except the time and effort you expend applying to them which you can’t necessarily avoid anyway. (See the list of local NYC staffing agencies I’ve compiled below. The list is in no way exhaustive, so depending on your need and/or curiosity, browse internet and search for more).
  • In addition to reaching out  to staffing agencies, explore your local government resources in finding job. NYC has workforce1 program that is free to the public. Here is the link: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/wf1/html/home/home.shtml
  • Don’t keep to yourself- I know that the last thing anyone wants in moments like this is getting that pathetic look from friends and families. It is important, however, that you share your predicament with those that you trust. They might help you generate job leads. It’s particularly sad sharing this with your in- laws if you are the head of household, for you know they might judge even harshly. In most situations though, their reactions are from love. They care about the people you are responsible for, and to some degree, they feel responsible for you all as a family. So drop the ego; drop the macho. It’s life. It happens. Explain your side of the story, tell them how much you’ve reflected on the situation and how you are planning on incorporating the lessons learned in your knowledge bank.
  • Start your own business– In the dialogue on career start over it is absolutely fine to expect a thought like this. If you are in this situation and currently exploring this thought, I’d say why not? The common saying ‘things happen for a reason’ is cliché, but it’s very useful. Perhaps this situation is nature’s call for you to stop, think, regroup, and start over. You are already vulnerable, so why not explore it. Go to public libraries and read books about your area of interest. Go to your municipal office to learn what support they might have for anyone interested in starting a business. You’d be surprised to find out that they could coach you one-on-one; mentor you, and connect you to capital resources as applicable. But you won’t know if you don’t make an attempt to find out.

If you are in NYC, here is a link to NYC government’s website  to support small businesses including start-ups: http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/nycbiz/html/home/home.shtml

Here is a link to a local NYC nonprofit organization that operates purposely to help guide people who are considering the idea of starting their own business.


Real conversation around career start over is deep, in fact deeper than I wanted to admit when I first decided to introduce this topic. The less I search for wisdom on the concept, the more I find. To keep this blog short and sweet though, here is where I’ll leave you this week.  In the coming weeks we’d explore the next junctions of career start over as listed on my earlier blog. They are:  resigning your job  to relocate with a spouse/family, resigning to pursue ones’ dream or to seek fulfilment, entering workforce after a period of incarceration, or after a long time-out due to other reasons, returning  from US to home country in Africa, and the last one on the list, my favorite (where I get to humor you:)), arriving from Africa to US to start over.  Until then would you kindly drop me a comment/question? I’d like to know your thoughts either on any particular post you’ve read on this blog or on the concept of starting over in general. Thanks in advance for your contribution, and thanks for reading.


List and Links to Local Staffing Agencies

Disclaimer: Interested job seekers should contact these staffing agencies only at will. Victoria or any of her associates does not maintain any prior arrangement with any of them and does not endorse anyone in particular. The sole intention here is to support you to get back on your feet as you start your career over and/or as stated above. The policies of these agencies and their applicable laws of the United States abide. Good luck landing the job!

  1. Robert Half : http://www.roberthalf.com/
  2. Winston Resources: http://www.winstonresources.com/
  3. Restaurants Associates: http://www.restaurantassociates.com/
  4. Access Staffing: http://www.accessstaffing.com/
  5. Buckley Staffing: http://www.accessstaffing.com/
  6. Careers on the Move: http://careersonthemove.com/
  7. Tempositions: http://www.tempositions.com/site/home.aspx
  8. TACT Medical Staffing: http://www.tactstaff.com/?gclid=CPSy0dfJqsgCFY4WHwodKpACPw
  9. Millennium Medical Staffing Inc.: http://www.millmedstaffing.com/
  10. Kelly Services: http://www.kellyservices.us/US/Business-Services/Light-Industrial-Expertise/

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