So, you’re thinking about making that big career change after the Tet holiday. This shouldn’t be a surprising move — probably thousands of others are having the same thoughts right at this moment.
With Tet symbolizing new beginnings and a fresh start for many Vietnamese, it’s the ideal time to re-evaluate life choices, especially in their careers. This is why the three months after the Lunar New Year is considered the high season for recruitment, with many enterprises grappling to fill vacancies and workers so eager to start anew.
But there are issues surrounding the “quitting tradition” among young Vietnamese workers. Some wait only for their Tet bonuses before handing in a resignation letter. Many, unfortunately, don’t come back at all to say a proper farewell.
In our recent story about Tet bonuses, we delved deep into the differences in the perspective of employers and employees. While a startup founder said a holiday bonus is an “expected” perk, some workers take it as the last hurrah before jumping ship.
This leaves not just empty desks in companies but probably also a rift between employers and their trusted staff. Interestingly though, one of the don’ts during Tet is arguments, as these may attract bad spirits and, therefore, bad luck.
To end things nicely with employers and start a new job the right way, here are some tips to navigate the tricky waters of a career change.
Leave on good terms
Jobs are essential parts of who we are, and even after resignation, they remain an integral component of the life we live. So it’s better to start and end a job gracefully, don’t leave with unresolved issues and unfinished tasks.
Quit in person
Resigning from a job can be complicated and awkward, but it should be done in person — not via a short email and definitely not through a text message. Employers and employees need to discuss face to face why the latter is quitting: Was it the feeling of discontent? Was it the lack of growth opportunities? Or perhaps, low compensation? Knowing the reason behind this life-changing decision would help both parties understand where they fell short and how they can improve in the future.
Ensure smooth transition
Give employers at least two weeks’ notice or the length of notice required by any employment contract. This will give the company enough time to find a replacement and provide you with ample time to hand over necessary paperwork and complete standing projects. Be willing to train your replacement and make a list of how-tos (and don’t forget to label folders accordingly) to ensure a smooth transition.
Quitting a job often entails major issues an employee couldn’t tolerate. But more often than not, the job has also given one reason to feel happy and proud. Focus on this and express gratitude for the opportunity. If possible, write personal notes/emails to your boss and co-workers and genuinely wish them success. Not only is this the right way to quit a job, but it would also help you maintain or grow your network.
Plan your new career journey
So, why did you quit your previous job? Do some self-reflection to know and understand your recent life decisions. Only then will you be able to determine what you want to do next (in case you don’t have a new job yet). Let this chance to start anew be the beginning of a fulfilling career journey.
Know what you want
Take a good look at what you want to achieve and who you want to become. This may be a worn-out cliche — but knowing and understanding what you want is the only way to move forward. Assess your strengths and values, and find what excites you about this new journey. But of course, always weigh the pros and cons. If your job is also your primary source of income, learn to find balance.
Define your career goals
Have a defined career goal: What do you want to achieve? Remember that you’ve let go of your previous job to gain something more and better in your career. Set specific goals — like what kind of tasks you’d be happy to do every day, the type of leaders you want to work with, and the work culture you want to be part of. Answering these questions can help you describe your ideal career scenario.
Don’t oversell or undersell yourself
There’s always a tendency to oversell or undersell yourself when looking for new job opportunities. Rather than stating big (and impractical) visions or voluntarily undervaluing yourself to appear more attractive to the employer, be genuine with your intentions and root for your achievements. Know your worth and what you can potentially contribute to your future company.
Prove your commitment
Applying for a new job after the Tet holiday may make recruiters doubt how committed you can be, especially if you’ve only been with your previous employer for a year. Proving your earnestness and commitment would be tough — but if you really are serious about this new career path, it will eventually show.