How can I quit this toxic, uninspiring job with dignity?

Friday February 7 2020


By Jane Muiruri

I have been in this job for only four months, but I want to quit because it is toxic and not a good fit for me. My managers and colleagues do not deserve me. This is a very small town and even though I work for one of the biggest companies, I am no longer interested in working here. I want to keep my options open so that I can get employment elsewhere or in another department. How do I get out with respect and dignity?

I commend you for being brave, because some employees usually choose to stay in uninspiring jobs or to hold onto roles that are not aligned to their career aspirations for fear of the unknown. What do you find toxic? Is it the work environment or the company culture?

How do you relate with your immediate supervisor and peers? Is it possible for you to change the tides and make the job environment less toxic? Have you tried to have discussions with your supervisor or HR manager? Why do you feel overqualified for the role. Didn’t the job advertisement give you an idea of what to expect?

Have you done your probation assessment with your supervisor? Did you bring up this issue? If you have not gone through this assessment, I suggest you initiate candid discussions with your supervisor. If you jointly agree that you are overqualified, you could ask for additional responsibilities, as you look for a more befitting role within the organisation or elsewhere. This will portray you as a professional with high levels of integrity, and will give you competitive advantage in future when a position that fits your skills falls vacant. Weigh your options carefully. If you decide to leave, let your supervisor know, and serve the required notice as per your contract.
Volunteer to train someone who will replace you. Also, ask for an exit interview where you will offer feedback on the role you held. This will give the organisation a chance to deal with the “toxic job” and also help them modify the role before getting a replacement. Next time, ensure that you understand the job requirements from the onset, and ask relevant questions during the interview to understand the competencies required for the role.

Jane Muiruri
Senior HR Manager,
Nation Media Group