Is It Better To Quit Or Be Fired? The Answer Here

is it better to quit or be fired

Feeling like you might be on the chopping block? Wondering if it’s better to quit or be fired? We have the definitive guide to help you navigate this upcoming and potentially challenging employment scenario.

If you are reading this it means you are doing the correct thing as a professional, doing your research before making a potentially irrational decision. And spending the time understanding how your choices will have an impact on your career trajectory.

Deciding whether you should quit or be fired will depend on a few situations. The first is knowing whether or not you are being fired or being laid off. When you are laid off, you will have employee benefits as part of the package. That includes severance and the potential option to file for unemployment assistance along with the option to use COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) which extends some parts of your health insurance for up to 18 months of coverage.

Are you being laid off?

In order to determine if you are being laid off, you need to consider the broader company status. Are you seeing other employees be laid off in large quantities? Have you been told by executives that the company isn’t performing as well as it should? If this is the case, you might be next in terms of being laid off.

When you are wondering if you should quit instead of being laid off, you should not quit. By quitting you will be leaving a large number of employee benefits on the table. In addition to that, the repercussions for being laid off when interviewing for future jobs is nominal. Future hiring managers won’t take being laid off as a sign that you are a poor employee. In fact roughly 50% of us by the time we are the age of 50 will have been laid off.

Should you quit or get laid off? Get laid off.

Are you being fired?

If you are feeling as though your personal performance is lacking and that your chemistry with your management team or peers is beginning to dwindle, then you may want to consider the situation where you get terminated. Being terminated is the same as “being fired.” Though, when you are terminated, you will not be able to receive the same employee benefits as when you are laid off.

Why quitting is always better

Resigning from a poor working situation will always be better than being terminated. Being terminated will cause difficulties in future job interviews, mostly on how you position the reasoning for having been terminated. For the average person, this is going to make your job search more stressful. Resigning or quitting your job will allow you control the way you left the company, thus controlling the way you explain to future interviewers why you left.

I would consider this method as being able to “frame the departure” and make your life easier.

Repercussions to resigning from a job

There aren’t too many repercussions to resigning from a position. Only repercussions in the way that you do it. If you decide that you want to yell profanities at your team members before your last day of work, that will most likely hinder your reputation and cause difficulty in your future job search.

But if you keep your resignation short, to the point, and professional — then there’s no negative side effect to deciding that the position “just wasn’t a good fit.”

What to be cautious of all the way around

Though it may seem like the world is a large place, the internet has connected us all. For better or worse this means that your future interviewers might “back-channel”, which is a polite and professional term for asking someone to review your reputation. This means that your future interviewer might speak to one of your colleagues or old managers regarding your performance and ask if they would recommend you for hire.

Due to the fact that this can happen, you should always be precautions about how you resign and ensure you do so in a fashion that is going to retain your reputation.

Is it better to quit or be fired?

It is always better to quit than to be terminated. Though the acceptation to the case is being “let go.” Being terminated will cause gaps and challenges in explaining your resume to future employers. It also could cause negative reactions to your professional reputation.

Though, before you quit you should always be considering your financial status. Ensure that you have at least 90 days of financial runway to be able to find another position. The average time it takes to be hired by another employer could be up to 4 months or 90 days. If you are not prepared to do that, you should attempt to use your current employment status to find another position and attempt to transition between the two employers as smoothly as possible.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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