Getting your hours cut at work can be unnerving. It can make you question your work performance and career stability, as well as your future ability to pay the bills. Take control of the situation by taking a hard look at your budget and other potential sources of income. Where can you cut spending? What special skills can you parlay into streams of supplemental cash? Who knows — this transition might be a catalyst for you to discover a brand-new skill set.
Have a heart to heart with your boss about your lack of hours, so he understands why you've decided to call it quits. Don't beat around the bush — ask point-blank why you haven’t been scheduled to work. If the reason has to do with your attitude or work performance, ask for tips on how to do better. It might be too late to save your current job, but at least you’ll have pointers on how to improve for your next employer. If your lack of hours is due to no fault of your own, ask your boss to draft an official document on company letterhead stating that you are a good employee and you are quitting because of circumstances beyond your control. Before you leave your job, ask whether the door out is a revolving door or marked "exit only." It's important to know whether you'll be offered your job back if conditions improve. .
Hand in an official letter of resignation a couple of weeks before your last day. Ask that the letter be placed in your personnel file to establish a paper trail that proves you are guilt free. Make sure your and your boss's stories sync up. Your letter should state that you're quitting because you haven't been scheduled, for whatever reason your boss has already indicated.
Get your co-workers' contact info before heading out of the door. Your job could be a potential goldmine of business contacts and networking opportunities, especially if you choose to get a new gig in the same field. If you aren’t comfortable giving everyone your digits, create a stalker-free email address strictly for networking purposes.
Ask your boss for a reference, if you’re leaving the job on good terms. You might need his help with landing a new job, as potential employers often contact applicants’ former employers to discuss their attitude, performance and work ethic. If your boss is too busy, pen your own letter of recommendation for him to read over and sign.
Tie up all your loose ends and finish strong. Don't leave a pile of mess for anyone else. Resolve to be polite and professional to the very end — resist the urge to tell certain individuals what you really think of them, now that you're on your way out of the door. Remember, you never know who you'll work with in the future. Don't get your reputation dirty.
File for unemployment at a local office in your state. Take your boss’s letter with you, explaining that you had to quit due to lack of hours and your hours were cut through no fault of your own. According to the Massachusetts Legal Help website, you can get unemployment after quitting a job if "an employer changes the job, such as giving you fewer hours." Many other states, including Maryland, Wisconsin, New York and Ohio, also approve dispensation of unemployment benefits if the applicant quit because of a reduction in hours.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.