My Boss Asked Me to Resign

by Evil HR Lady on February 5, 2016

I am a middle manager without a union who has been told that because of poor job performance, I would need to step down. My boss had offered me a lower level position that I do not wish to fill as I don’t want to work for them any longer. I asked my boss to dismiss/terminate me for poor performance. They won’t dismiss me and have asked me to resign. How can I go about this now? I may need unemployment and really do not think that I should be the one to resign. Any thoughts on this?

Yes. Take the lower level job and focus on finding a new job. Your boss has actually offered you a gift in the form of the lower job. Yes, I absolutely hate it when bosses won’t fire and try to force resignations without offering anything in return, but your boss is offering something–a job.

Now, it’s not a job you want, and it’s a lower level job, but here are the advantages to taking the job and not resigning or being fired.

Finding a job is easier when you have a job. It just flat out is. You don’t have to explain that you were fired or that you resigned without a job lined up. Your resume doesn’t have that awkward gap in it. It’s just easier. Keep working.

Your current boss doesn’t have to be a reference. Most recruiters will respect your request not to contact your current company when you say, “My boss doesn’t know I’m looking.” However, if you resign or are fired, they’ll want to speak to your last company–the very boss that fired you or forced you to resign. If you’re still employed, he never gets a call, and you don’t have to explain your poor performance (until you look for the job after this one).

Money, money, money. Unemployment is great because you get money when you’re not working. It allows you to focus on job hunting. The problem is, unemployment is not as much as your current paycheck. If you’ve got lots of money saved up, then the money part isn’t problematic. But, even if you have a big chunk of cash saved up, why waste it when you can be drawing a full paycheck?

Health insurance. Sure there’s COBRA, and sure, there are the exchanges, but do you really think you’ll be better off on those than on your employer-provided plan? If you have a spouse whose plan you can go on, this isn’t as big of a deal. But, if not, think long and hard about giving up health insurance. We’re a generally healthy family, but that didn’t stop my daughter from absentmindedly stepping in front of a tram.

Exceptions. There are always exceptions to the don’t quit without a new job lined up. If your job is destroying your physical or mental health, it’s time to walk away. But by destroying I mean that literally. Hating it and dreading work is not the same thing as destroying your health. See your doctor if you need an expert opinion.

Good luck on your job hunt.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Antonia Siemaszko February 5, 2016 at 3:59 pm

Especially see a doctor because if you do quit due to the stress/medical issues, having that doctor to back up your reasons will preserve your unemployment (a very long time ago when unemployment was much harder to get than it is now, I had a boss that was harassing me (also before major sexual harassment laws,) I was able to get unemployment because the doctor I saw was willing to write a letter about my mental state.) But it was an incredible fight.

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charles February 5, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Agreed, never resign without something else lined up.

If they want to get rid of me – then fire me! But, don’t ask me to “resign.” That’s a cheap, and a cowards, way of letting people go.

Take the demotion. There is no need to mention the demotion during this upcoming job search. And if you don’t stay at the lower position too long; then, there wouldn’t be, in my opinion anyway, any reason to mention it during future job searches.

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Laura K. February 5, 2016 at 10:39 pm

Great advice

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Elizabeth West February 7, 2016 at 6:22 pm

Agree with all of this. Take the lower-level position and start looking as hard as you can. Don’t wait until you get laid off (like I did when this happened to me). Quitting could prevent you from getting unemployment so don’t let them bully you into it. Better to find something while you still have money coming in.

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