Quit or Get Fired, Which is Better? (Answered)

Are you worried about getting fired, and you are thinking about quitting voluntarily to avoid a difficult situation?

According to data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • 4.3 Million employees quit their job within a month, with a resignation rate of approx. 2.9% in 2021.
  • 1.3 Million employees get fired from their job within a month, with a layoff rate of approx. 0.9% in 2021.

Employees are 3.3 times more likely to quit then to get fired, or layoff.

In some cases, resigning before you are being laid off make sense, while other instances, it doesn’t.

is it better to quit or wait to be fired?

Generally, it is better to quit and resign voluntarily than be fired. When you quit, you choose to leave the job on your own in your own accord. Getting fired is when you are forced to leave a position by the company.

There are both pros and cons of quitting a job voluntarily over getting fired by the company.

We shall look at some of them and understand why.

U.S. Labor Statistics - Job openings, hires, and separations levels, seasonally adjusted

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pros of Quitting Your Job Over Being Fired

Quitting your job can avoid the unpleasant feeling of losing your job suddenly. And sometime quitting your job without another make sense.

Getting fired can be emotionally traumatizing for most people, and people who get fired often develop negative emotions.

Employees will go through the 5 phases of job recovery from getting fired, but the recovery will often take time.

Emotional impact of getting fired

Getting fired and losing your job suddenly can cause you to feel like a failure. The experience of being forced to leave your job position can cause you to have a range of negative emotions; shamefulness, worthlessness, embarrassment, self-pity, and eventually depression.

Quitting might be better for mental health

When you quit, you are mentally prepared to move on. Instead of feeling being forced to leave a job, you are the one in control, and you are the one who choose to leave the company.

Quitting a job voluntarily reduce the stress and emotion roller coaster you may fact, when getting fired from your position

When you quit your job, you are ready to move on to another job, or prepared to be unemployed for a short time.

Quitting or resigning voluntarily protects your reputational and make it easier for you to find a job, while getting fired doesn’t.

Quitting a job is quite common and generally employees change their job every 1 to 3 years. Seldom do we see an employee work in a company for more than 10 years.

Having said that, getting fired from a job can be bad for your reputation. It might be ok if you are being layoff due to the pandemic or company’s closure. But if you are being fired for poor performance, you may need to explain to your interviewer why you are being fired.

There is an inherent bias for most hiring managers,

“Employees who are fired from a job are usually bad.”

How to answer being fired interview questions?

Be honest to your hiring manager that you are being fired, do not try to hide from them or tell lies.

Often your potential employer will do a cross reference with your previous employer about your performance.

  1. Be honest. Always be honest why you are being terminated
  2. Keep it simple. Don’t go into details or badmouthing your previous employer.
  3. Remain positive. Be positive in both your tone and posture.
  4. Demonstrate personal growth. Demonstrate that the previous negative experience doesn’t defines you.
  5. Promote your skills and experience. Promote your capabilities and your suitability for the job role.
  6. Negotiate for a neutral reference. If your hiring manager wants a reference, ask if you can recommend them a neutral reference that can represents you without biasness.

Cons of Quitting compared to getting fired from your job.

Quitting voluntarily make it hard to get unemployment benefits

Employees who quit voluntarily find it hard to be eligible to collect unemployment benefits. Employees may only get unemployment benefits if you left for a ” good cause”. Good cause means that you must have specific reasons why you quit.

Good cause” for quitting a job or decreasing your work hours includes:

  • Have a family crisis or emergency that you have to deal with during working hours.
  • Employer makes unreasonable demands; not paying on schedule.
  • Employment become unsuitable to work; salary below minimum wage, work activities discriminates you, workplace subject you to unreasonable health and safety risk etc.
  • Temporary unemployment due to acceptance of another job or enrollment in a school or training program.

Your eligibility may vary depending on where you live as unemployment programs are often determined by states.

Quitting voluntarily make it hard to get severance pay

Employees who quit voluntarily will not be able to get severance pay. As it is a situation that is out of your employer’s control, your employer will not owe you any severance when you leave the company.

Even if you are being fired, unless your company’s contract have this, severance is not always guaranteed.

  • According to a survey with more than 1,500 HR professionals, 44% of employees received severance pay after an involuntary separation

But there is still a gray area in the topic of severance package.

Voluntary separation packages are sometimes offered by the company to cut back on the workforce.

Company offered voluntary separation packages to cut cost on the salary and work benefits.

If you accept a voluntary separation packages or early retirement packages, the company will have to pay what is stated in the package.

Quitting or resign voluntarily make it harder to pursue any legal actions against your company if required.

Quitting makes it hard to pursue any wrongful termination or retaliation claims against your employer. When you resign voluntarily, you forfeit these claims even if these claims might be valid if you are being fired instead.

Often, employees are forced to resign due to toxic work environment, harassments and all forms of discrimination (Pregnancy discrimination, gender discrimination, religion discrimination etc.) 

Unless you can prove that you are being forced to resign, or legally known as constructive discharge. It may allows you to potentially file a wrongful termination, discrimination or harassment suit.

Nonetheless, constructive discharge is often hard to prove.

Pursuing any legal action such as, wrongful termination claim is going to be much easier if you tough it out and get fired.

What is “Constructive discharge”?

“Constructive discharge” is a legal term where an employee resign or retire involuntarily because the employer created a hostile work environment, or applied pressure, or coercion that forced the employee to quit or resign.

In a nutshell, “constructive discharge” means “forced to resign”.

The definition of constructive discharge may varies from state to state.

Would you rather quit or get fired?

Quitting voluntarily (resigning) and getting fired have their pros and cons. How you leave your job is a personal decision. Even if you hate your job and want to quit, you’ll need to weight both the pros and cons.

There is no right and wrong answer, the choice is totally up to you to decided.

According to the statistics, workers are 3.3 times more likely to choose formally resigning in compared to getting fired.

However, you choose to leave your job it should be a decision that you should think thoroughly.

“If given a choice between resigning and getting fired, workers should consider the benefits of termination that don’t comes with resignation.”

– Said Stygar, employment attorney.

However, HR professionals and career advisors have a different perspective.

“No matter what the scenario is, be proactive, not reactive.

Being forced to leave, and volunteer to leave can be the difference between getting the next job, or not.”

– Said A.C., editor of hqhire.com.

Having said that, there are also a few things you should consider before you decided to quit or get fired.

Like this advice?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Disclaimer: We do not provide any family, health, financial, or law related advice. This is a work of fiction and protected by copyright law. The publisher and the author make no guarantees concerning the level of success you may experience by following the advice and strategies contained here, and you accept the risk that results will differ for each individual. All the names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents in this site are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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