On 14 February 2014, Arvind Kejriwal resigned from the post of Delhi’s chief minister—it would be a year before he was re-elected, on 10 February. Having spent just 49 days in office in his first stint, Kejriwal was criticized for resigning in haste, a charge that he later accepted and expressed remorse for.

Some days ago, Rahul Yadav, chief executive officer of online realty start-up Housing.com, created a stir by shooting off a resignation letter with scathing remarks about investors and board members, only to withdraw his resignation the same day.

If you’ve had a heated discussion with a co-worker or boss, seen your project handed over to someone else, or its funding stopped, don’t give in to a knee-jerk response. Big though these issues may seem, you need to look at the larger picture, says Aditya Narayan Mishra, president, staffing, Randstad India Ltd, a human resource (HR) consulting firm. “Many people think that losing a project or a problematic relationship with the boss is the end of it all. You need to know you are not alone and that issues with the boss or company can be resolved," says Bengaluru-based Mishra.

We spoke to HR heads of companies on why resigning in a hurry can be a terrible idea.

Don’t bring your emotions to work

People experience heightened emotional sensitivity after a perceived stressful work event. And it can be hard to distinguish between the rational and the emotional. Yet this is when you must introspect dispassionately before you send that I-Quit letter, says Nishchae Suri, partner and head of people and change advisory, KPMG in India, a professional services company. “Emotions often colour objectivity and give rise to imagined or make-believe situations. It is important, therefore, to allow a cool-off period to collect thoughts and take into account varied sources of information," says New Delhi-based Suri.

You could regret that decision to resign, especially if you don’t have a job in hand. “You might be disturbed or disengaged at the workplace but resigning without an offer is an unwise decision," says Ashu Malhotra, head of HR at online fashion retailer Jabong. “Break the emotional wall and don’t quit if you are not sure about your future career plans," says Gurgaon-based Malhotra.

Didn’t get that promotion? Wait, consider your options

New designations or a 10-20% raise sound attractive, but will your new job give you opportunities to grow? Step back and think if you want to quit because you didn’t get that promotion, says Jagjit S., chief people officer at audit and advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India. “Titles and hikes are no doubt critical for one’s career. There might be a time when your project is allotted to someone else. But instead of resigning in a spurt of anger, evaluate how you will fit into these new changes and whether there are still chances of growth in the company," says New Delhi-based Jagjit.

Also, a huge hike in salary can boomerang. “One should carefully analyse the compensation break-up and not just focus on the CTC (cost-to-company), as there might be some hidden deductions in your salary," says Mishra.

Don’t burn bridges

If you resign in a hurry, more often than not you’re likely to burn some bridges. Issues of proper communication with the manager, not handing over work properly or giving enough time to the company to find a replacement might negate all the goodwill you’ve built in the company. Moreover, since the world is increasingly connected through social media, your future employer might well get bad recommendations about you from your former colleagues.

 Mishra believes it is critical to have an open discussion about any issues with your manager. “Communicating the causes of concern to a mentor or manager, or having an honest conversation while deliberating on the decision to quit, is often never done," he says, adding: “Managers or other stakeholders can provide concrete and actionable suggestions that may improve the situation."

According to Malhotra, having faith in the system, even if things are not going your way, can prevent you from making a hasty decision. “Remember that managers will do everything possible to keep their good employees and it is always better to express your issues rather than resign," he says.

What you can do, short of quitting

An ideal job which checks all the boxes is difficult to find. According to Jagjit, before you decide to move, take time to analyse, understand and explore opportunities internally that could provide growth. It may be the best, and least destabilizing, option if you’ve been happy with the organization.

Keep your eyes on the prize

Job stability is a key factor, says Malhotra. People are eager to grow rapidly and early but they end up compromising on their learning curve. “Job-hopping might give you better packages, but it won’t give you expertise. And in today’s world of fierce competition, where everybody needs to stand out, quitting in a hurry for money will only keep you relevant for some time. Five years down the line, when you have experience and no expertise, it won’t be ideal," he adds.

No room for regret

Kejriwal got second-time lucky, and Yadav could take back his resignation. Usually, however, it is difficult to retract. “In case an employee takes back his resignation after realizing his/her mistake, it will not be appreciated by the management. It will be taken into notice and may hamper his future undertakings with the company," says Jyotsna Aswal, HR head, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd, a power solutions manufacturer. “If you keep playing the I-Quit card, it affects your relationship with your boss and colleagues because it becomes a trust issue," adds Gurgaon-based Aswal.

At least serve your notice period

Finally, if you still want to resign, it should be with “regard and integrity", says Mishra. “Don’t burn your bridges," he advises.

“Organizations and leaders now respect that priorities keep changing and are happy to make the exit easy for their employees. However, resigning hastily and not giving enough time for the management to replace you, or being bitter about it, will shut the gates of the company for you forever."

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