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Resigning at the Right Time is Tricky, Here's How to Do It Smart

Should you quit before your bonuses are paid out?
by Arianne Merez
4 days ago
A conductor checks the temperature and Covid-19 coronavirus vaccination cards of passengers boarding a bus at a station in Quezon City, suburban Manila on January 18, 2022, as the Philippine government banned unvaccinated people from using public transport amid a record surge in coronavirus cases.
Photo/s: Maria Tan / AFP/File

With a few days left before September, the start of the world's longest Christmas season, Florence is apprehensive about resigning from her corporate job because she fears on missing out on the upcoming bonuses.

Like many of her burned out Gen Y and Z colleagues, the 29-year-old is timing her resignation until after she gets her 13th and 14th month pay.

"Sayang naman kasi, tsaka ilang buwan na lang naman bago ibigay yung 13th month pay and 14th month pay namin," Florence, who asked not to be named, told reportr.

READ: 'I Should Have Resigned Yesterday': Signs to Just Do It

When you second-guess your resignation plans, how do you know when's the right time to do it?

Unfortunately for those looking for a magic formula, there is no one "right time" to resign since the answer will all depend on your situation and what you're trading off when you quit according to human resources manager Tessa Mercado, also known as the "Millennial HR Manager" on Facebook and TikTok.

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"The only person who can answer when is the right time to resign is you kasi iba-iba ang dahilan at sitwasyon ng mga empleyado bakit sila nagre-resign. Is it for a better opportunity? Burnout? Mental health? Iba-iba ang dahilan kaya it all depends on the person who is resigning," Mercado told reportr.

If there's a non-negotiable factor however when it comes to deciding if it's time to quit, Mercado said it should be one's mental health.

"Kapag nararamdaman mo na parang hindi na ikaw 'yan at parang hindi mo na makilala yung sarili mo at emotions mo, that's a big red flag," she said.

"Other problems naman kasi can be discussed with your management. For example, if the problem is pay, there's room for discussion or if the problem is your boss, you should talk to your boss," she added.

READ: Resignation Guide: How Long Should You Stay in Your Job Before Leaving?

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Once you've set your heart on quitting, here are things to consider to make the most out of it before you file that resignation letter:

Check your finances

Most companies hold payment of your final salary and pro-rated 13th month pay until you get your clearance. This is meant to ensure that you have no more liabilities with the company.

This also means that it'll take quite some time before you receive it, so you must first set your finances in order.

First things first, can you pay off your existing bills while waiting for your next salary? Do you have ample emergency funds and savings to get you by just in case your next pay could take a while? 

It's best to be financially prepared before you quit especially if you're the breadwinner of your family.

Review your company's policy on resignations

Even in quitting, be professional. Mercado said it's a must to adhere to your company's policies when it comes to resignations since it reflects professionalism.

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"Dapat ba 30-day notice? Kanino mo ba dapat i-address ang resignation letter mo? All these things should be done professionally pa rin kasi it would reflect on you," she said.

If you have a friendly relationship with your boss too, a verbal notice before you file your formal resignation is ideal too so you can discuss the reasons and circumstances of your decision to leave.

Check your leave policy

Not all companies convert unused leaves to cash so it's best to check your company's policy on this first. After all, you've earned those vacation and sick leaves and it would be a waste not to maximize their availability.

Whether you want to use up your remaining leaves or commute these to cash, it's ideal to check your company's policy so you could decide what's best for you.

Make the most out of your employee benefits

Different companies offer various benefits to employees. During your tenure, you might have forgotten some of these so it's best to do a quick review of what benefits you can avail before you quit.

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For instance, if you're transferring to a new job, chances are it might take a while before you get a new health card so you might want to use your existing one to check your overall health first (and probably get a dental cleaning).

Are there any allowances that you have yet to avail yourself of? Don't be shy to ask your company's Human Resources team about availing your benefits as an employee.

Lastly, remember that resignations don't mean burning bridges with your colleagues and work friends.

"You can resign and still be friends with your coworkers," Mercado said.


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