NWR: How to quit a job gracefully? LONG/Vent

jennyleigh16jennyleigh16 member
Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
edited February 2014 in Students
I could use some advice. Sorry if it's a little long.

 I'm a full time student doing online college courses for Human Resources Management. Prior to this I have a graduate certificate in Event Management. I also work 2 "part time" jobs. One is mainly janitorial but pays 2x minimum wage, gives me 40 hours per week, provides opportunities to move up or laterally and I have 9 years of seniority there. The other is a banquet server position at a hotel at minimum wage + gratuities, less than a year, anywhere from 0-30 hours a week. I originally applied to the hotel for an event manager position but was deferred to banquet server due to lack of experience. I took the job hoping to get my foot in the door and move up the ladder. 

 Here's where it gets complicated. 

 When I signed my contract for the hotel they had me sign a paper saying I'm volunteering to work longer than 8 hour shifts. At the time I wasn't a student so I didn't see any problem with it. The shifts I ended up with are often 10-15 hours and its not uncommon to work 4pm-5am. I went back to school in September and thought I could balance everything. Sooo wrong. I failed a class and lost my marbles frequently. So when I renewed my contract at the end of January I changed that piece of paper to "I can only work 8 hour shifts". They really didn't like that and pulled me into a meeting with my dept head and head of HR to give me shit for it. I refused to change my mind, calmly laid out my logical reasoning (school is my priority, there have been issues with getting time off for exams, etc etc). I'm now persona non grata with my dept head/ the woman who makes my schedule. 

 I was hanging on to the job in the hopes that I'd be able to move up the ladder, either in events or in human resources when I'm finished school (1.5 years from now) but I'm now wondering if that would even be an option considering how antagonistic they're being towards me right now, and whether I want to put up with the place for that long to get there. My other job definitely has HR areas to advance into but I liked having multiple options. 

I'm completely overwhelmed trying to balance both jobs and school, let alone do any wedding planning. I'm stressed. My work is failing, my schoolwork is failing, I'm eating poorly, I don't sleep well, I get zero exercise, I'm getting stress heartburn every day, my relationship isn't deteriorating but I'm certainly not making enough time for my FI...something has got to give. 

 I think its time to quit the hotel job but I juuust renewed my contract and I have industry contacts there so I'd really like to do so gracefully and not burn any bridges. I've never been in this situation before so I could use some advice. I know I need to talk to my department head directly because she threw a fit when I changed my hours availability without telling her (nevermind the fact that I had a death in the family that weekend and was otherwise preoccupied) I have a review meeting with her on Thursday but I don't want to "blindside" her again so I feel like I should give her a heads up before that. How do I resign tactfully without making management hate me?

 So sorry it's so long, I feel like I'm going crazy and I need outside opinions. Thanks so much in advance.
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Re: NWR: How to quit a job gracefully? LONG/Vent

  • What are the terms of your contract?  Is there a period of time that you're required to stay with them?  Are you required to pay any fees upon leaving prior to the end of the contract?

    I would write a letter to your department head and cc HR simply stating that you're resigning effective on date 3/X/2014 (pick something at least two weeks away from when they'll receive the letter, longer if your contract requires) because you've returned to school and you'd like to focus on your studies.  Inform them in person as well.

    I agree that it sounds like you're doing too much right now, and leaving this job sounds like a good place to scale back.  Good luck.
  • Thanks @jacsquared.  I ended up sending an email thanking my boss for the opportunities provided to me but  that I was going to "redirect my attention to my academic goals at this time". Seemed fairly well received. My only restrictions are 2 weeks notice and a 2 month non-compete clause, which wouldn't really apply to someone at my level anyway. Looking forward to March 4th now. 
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  • If you resign please don't put the reason why in your letter. All a resignation letter is is the following "I so and so hereby resign from this job on such and such date. Thank you for this opportunity."

    Do not put the reason why you are quitting in there, they don't need to know that and it's considered unprofessional.

    But good for you for getting out of there! That sounds like a total nightmare.
  • This is the letter I sent. 
    Dear (dept head)

    Please let this letter serve as my notice of resignation, effective March 4th, 2014
    I want to thank you for the opportunities I was given as part of the (hotel) experience.
    I enjoyed my time with the banquets team but I have decided to redirect my attention towards my academic goals at this time.

    Thank you for all your support.


    I guess I shouldn't have said anything about academics but it was my main reason for changing my availability discussed in the meeting and it seemed to make sense at the time. I had a brief chat with my dept head yesterday and she was very nice about it. She said she'd miss me (what else would she say?). I have one more shift next Saturday and then I'm done. I know its the smartest thing to do but I can't help but be a little sad to leave. I've made friends there. 
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  • I think your letter is okay. In general you don't want to list reasons, but that's vague enough. It would be different if you said "I found the scheduling demands to be unreasonable" or something like that. That sounds really demanding for a serving position! Generally flexibility is the perk to working a job like that. 
  • Yeah they were pretty adamant that I be available to work every Thurs-Sunday evening so I'd rearrange my schedule at my other job and then they'd tell me they need more daytime weekday availability so I'd rearrange again... it was never enough for them and I found other aspects of my life were slipping through the cracks. I worked Thursday night for them 6-2am, then the next morning 6am-3pm at my other job, then 5pm-2am at the hotel again. I think I had about 2 hours of sleep. I've been doing that since April and I'm burnt out. 

    During exam time I tried to book a Saturday off for my Sunday exam. They refused. I said I could work first thing until 2pm at the latest so I'd at least have the evening. They kept me there hours after I was supposed to leave and I didn't get any review time that night. I ended up failing the exam (not the only reason, I know, but didn't help).
    They aren't big on flexibility there. 
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  • Glad to hear it went well.

    For the lurkers, I'll clarify what I said above.  While a reason isn't necessary in your resignation letter, and if your reason is a complaint about the job, it's better to leave it out, a good, professional reason will help you stay on good terms with your ex-employer.  "The work schedule was too demanding" isn't a professional reason.  "I'm redirecting my attention to my education" is.  I learned this the hard way.  I didn't give a reason for leaving a job.  My reason was a very personal, and I didn't feel comfortable sharing it with my employer.  Word got around that my ex-employer filled in the blank for me with a very negative reason.
  • Wow. That's terrible. 
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