“I’ve received a final written warning, should I quit?”
This is a predicament a lot of workers find themselves in, and I can see the merits of both quitting and not quitting.
It really comes down to how you feel about your job, do you want to turn things around and become a model employee?
Is it even possible for you to do so?
In this article, I’m going to explore the pros and cons of quitting when you’ve received your final written warning and hopefully help you make the right decision!
Final Written Warning: Should I Quit?
This is a tough question for me to give you a definite answer on without knowing your exact circumstances, both personally and professionally.
Instead, it’s better if I – and you – look at the pros and cons or benefits and drawbacks of quitting because you’ve received your final written notice.
Here are 5 of the main reasons why it might be the best decision and 5 reasons why it might be a bad career move.
See how you feel after weighing up both sides:
5 Benefits of Quitting on A Final Written Warning
1. You’re Quitting Before You’re Fired
If you’ve received your final written warning it sounds like the writing is on the wall for you at your current job.
Unless you want – and know – you can turn things around it sounds like you’re going to get fired in the near future.
Quitting can help you save face and not be fired, although it might mean you’re not entitled to unemployment benefits.
But, it might also be a good opportunity to leave on your own terms and start fresh at another job where you can hopefully make a better impression.
2. You’ll Feel Good if You’re Not Happy at Your Job
If you’re unhappy at your job, receiving a final written warning is just another sign that it’s time for a change.
Quitting and finding a new job where you can be successful and happy will do wonders for your mental health and overall well-being.
It might also give you a chance to leave a toxic work environment where you were receiving the final warning because you can’t find a way to fit in.
3. You Can Start Fresh at A New Job
On the heels of quitting before you’re pushed, you could use quitting as a way to start afresh at a new job without the threat of being fired looming over you.
You can use it as an opportunity to improve upon any mistakes or issues that resulted in the final written warning and show a new employer you’ve learned from them.
4. It’s an Opportunity to Learn and Grow Professionally
Leaving a job, even if it’s not under the best circumstances, can be an opportunity for personal and professional growth.
In fact, in light of being issued warnings, I think the best thing for you is to learn and grow from this experience so it doesn’t happen again.
This could mean seeking out professional help, such as a career coach or counselor, to figure out where things went wrong or simply evaluating your situation by yourself.
5. The Future Is Brighter if You Make It That Way
At the end of the day, I’m sure you don’t feel good about being issued your final warning and you want to turn things around.
You could do that by staying at your company, but that dark cloud of being issued a warning is always going to be following you around.
The best thing you can do to create a brighter future is to quit and start fresh elsewhere where there’s no negative mark on your record.
This is particularly important for those feeling down about their current situation. Keep in mind that you can make your future as bright and as successful as you want, you just need to be willing to put in the work.
5 Downsides of Quitting on A Final Written Warning
1. You’re Going to Be Unemployed
The obvious downside to quitting on the spot is that you’re going to be unemployed.
This means you won’t have a steady income and if you struggle to find another job quickly, you could find yourself in financial difficulty in no time.
So, it’s important to make sure you have a solid savings or financial plan in place before deciding to quit.
Additionally, if you’ve been at your job for a while, quitting might also mean losing out on important benefits like health care or retirement contributions.
2. It Doesn’t Look Good on Your Resume
Although you may not think it’s fair, receiving a final written warning and then quitting doesn’t look good on your resume.
It could raise red flags for potential future employers and make it harder for you to find a new job.
So, before quitting, think about how you’ll explain the situation on your resume and in job interviews.
3. Quitting Never Feels Good
I’m not sure about you, but for me, quitting anything never feels good.
It can be a blow to your self-esteem and leave you feeling like a failure which can spiral into other issues.
You might also regret quitting later on if you’re making this decision while your emotions are running high after just being given your final written warning.
But, it’s important to remember that quitting in this situation might be the best decision for your mental and emotional health in the long run.
4. It’s Validating the Reasons Why You Were Written Up
If you’re being written up based on your performance, quitting is essentially sending your boss the message that you’re not cut out for the job and validating their reasons for giving you a final warning.
This could potentially harm your professional reputation in your industry if word gets out.
So, before quitting, think about the potential long-term consequences it could have on your career.
5. It Might Be Tough to Explain in An Interview
As mentioned earlier, quitting after receiving a final written warning might raise red flags for future employers.
But it’s also going to be tough to explain in a job interview why you chose to quit after receiving the warning.
You’ll need to be able to confidently and effectively explain the situation so it doesn’t come off as you just giving up or not being able to handle the pressure.
This is something you can do, I’m not trying to scare you or make you believe it’s going to hold you back from getting another job.
It’s just something to keep in mind.
What Does a Final Written Warning Mean?
A final written warning is the last step before being fired from a job. Hence the name ‘final’!
It means that you have violated company policies or performed poorly and your employer has given you one last chance to improve before being let go.
For some, receiving a final written warning can be a wake-up call and they are able to turn things around and improve their performance.
For others, it might signal that it’s time to move on and find a new job.
While it’s ultimately up to you to decide what the best course of action is, my advice would be to at least take some time to think about your options before making a hasty decision.
Receiving a final written warning is serious though, make no mistake about it.
Does a Written Warning Go On Your Employment Record?
In most cases, yes, a written warning will go on your employment record.
Your employer is required to keep a record of the warning and any other disciplinary actions taken against you.
However, it’s important to check with your company’s HR department or policies to see exactly how long they will keep the warning on file and if there is a process for it to be removed after a certain period of time.
Additionally, some companies may not include written warnings in background checks or during reference checks, but again it’s important to check with your HR department or company policies.
What Comes After a Final Warning?
If your performance or behavior does not improve after receiving a final written warning, the next step is usually termination from the job.
But again, every company is different and there may be specific steps outlined in their policies or employee handbook.
It’s important to take the final written warning seriously and try to make improvements in order to avoid being fired.
But if quitting or finding a new job is the best decision for you, then that is also a valid option to consider.
Remember, it’s not always easy or clear cut, but ultimately you have to do what’s best for you and your career. Good luck!
Image credits – depositphotos.com/stock-photo-man-resignation-letter-quit-job
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.