I walked off my job in frustration
Glenford Smith, Career Writer
QUESTION: I am desperately in need of your advice. I walked off my job in frustration with my boss over his lack of support and his lackadaisical attitude. In light of this, and the fact that no notice was given, how do I bring this across positively in a job interview? Please note that I had indicated in the resignation letter that I was leaving to propel my professional growth and development.
- K. Davis
SMITH: Let me commend you on the decision to seek advice in dealing with your challenge. I must be honest with you, though. It would have been even better if you had sought advice before resigning out of frustration.
For anyone frustrated at work, here's something to always keep in mind: Never walk off your job without a well-planned exit strategy. That requires strict self-discipline in controlling your feelings of anger and upset. It's imperative, however.
Psychologists assert that 'emotional intelligence' is one of the most essential abilities to safeguard your career progress. This ability includes awareness of your moods and emotions and having the self-mastery to regulate your responses regardless of how you're feeling.
Realise it takes nothing to resign, except a few minutes to write a letter. Anyone can easily do that, at any time.
What's much harder is answering the question of what you're going to do after you quit. Inexplicably, many people don't give this any serious thought until after they've relieved their frustration, anger or disappointment by walking off the job. Always a bad idea.
That said, there are situations where the best decision is really to leave a job. Perhaps your situation is one such. It's a matter of how you go about it, is all.
Recently, I was reminded of a lesson I learned long ago - never to make a decision with permanent consequences based on a temporary emotion. This is always good advice.
Now, in answer to your specific question, you will definitely not mention anything about your frustration with your former boss at a job interview. Nor will you mention anything about walking off the job or not giving any notice, unless interviewers bring this up.
Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your work experience at your former workplace. Highlight the key lessons you learned, the skills and abilities you developed. Talk about the excellent teamwork practised by you and your former colleagues which enabled the achievement of key objectives and targets.
If they raise the matter of your resignation, simply reiterate what you had stated in your letter about seeking professional growth opportunities. Reiterate that a job working at their corporation is one such opportunity. In doing this, focus on giving them reasons why you're the best candidate for the position.
If asked specifically how you feel about your former boss, tell them you learned a lot from him, and it was a valuable experience working for him. The key thing is to stay positive and be honest, without being naive.
Practise taking control of how you frame your experiences in life, and how you communicate them to others.
Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.