Are you a potential post-bonus quitter? Think before you walk

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Being unhappy about your bonus can make you do all sorts of crazy things, like huffily quitting your job in May without another one to go to. Recruiters in Singapore and Hong Kong say more candidates are boldly proclaiming their intention to leave.

James Rushworth, managing director, South Asia, Profile Search & Selection has seen about a 60 to 80 per cent increase in these impulsive candidates from the previous year in Singapore. "It has been that apparent and unprecedented," he says.

Likewise, Jared Ng, regional consulting director of PeopleSearch, has experienced an increase in Hong Kong. "It's been a rising trend over the last few years and I would say there's been a 10 per cent increase this year."

The young and the not so young

These candidates typically hail from two camps. Firstly, Gen Y professionals who live with their parents and often don't have many financial obligations. "The better economy and booming banking sector gives them comfort that they can get a job easily, hence most would want to take a break first before embarking on a job search," says Ng.

The other category is largely made up of locals in the AVP to VP levels. Rushworth says these candidates usually want to leave because salary increases and bonuses have not lived up to their expectations. "Banks are feeling the heat because bonuses have remained flat, or in some cases are minus 20 per cent, even though most banks performed well last year. Those expectations have not been properly managed."

Five things to think about before you quit

1) How long it will take before your next pay cheque?

Got a figure for your unemployment duration? Then multiply it by two. Imagine the worst case scenario, so that you can be financially and mentally prepared. This also means you won't jump into any old job after being jobless for six months, says Rushworth.

2) Examine why you want to leave.

Prospective employers will want to know why you quit, so make sure you have a strong reason, otherwise they may write you off as being irresponsible, says Ng.

3) Timing is everything.

Ng says: "The job market typically slows down in the second half of the year; hence candidates might find it tougher to find job opportunities then."

4) Are you wanted?

If your job functions are particularly sought after, you won't have to twiddle your thumbs for too long, say recruiters.

5) Be prepared for a tough interview process.

Rushworth says: "Additional due diligence will be done both in term of rounds of interviews and asking pointed, direct questions about the motivations and reasons for leaving."

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