Advice column: I walked out on my job, but fear I may have acted too hastily

Dear Ash

I have submitted my resignation letter at work after a heated argument with my line manager. However, in the cold light of day, I am beginning to regret my decision. I do not yet have a firm job offer and the hint of a job at my friend’s firm has now fallen through. I can’t really survive too long without a job and would ideally like the security of my old job in order to allow me sufficient time to look for another permanent post. I am unclear on where I would stand and I’m not sure that I would be taken back with open arms! The situation with my line manager has been brewing for some time and he seemed to be constantly trying to undermine me and I had just had enough, but now thinking about it I would rather have at least a job than none at all…

Ash replies:

It is unfortunate that you were pushed into effectively giving your resignation. You should seek some legal advice, because if you feel that you had no alternative but to resign because of the unbearable conditions at work then you may have scope for claiming constructive dismissal. It will of course very much depend on the facts and circumstances, but I suggest that you at least speak to an employment solicitor in order to get some advice on your position.

If you are determined to get your job back then do bear in mind that this may not even be an option. Much also depends on the time that has lapsed since you resigned and, of course, the attitude of your former employer. The ball is very much in your employer’s court if you do decide to approach them in order to seek your job back, and they are under no current legal obligation to take you back.

However, as in any job you have a certain notice period, and if your period is one month or more then I suggest that you make all efforts to look at alternative options too. Ensure that you are registered with good recruitment agencies and look out for roles on job websites. Even if you are unable to get a legal post in the meantime, perhaps consider working in an alternative role, for example in the third sector or public sector, in order to ensure you can meet your financial commitments for the time being.

Do try to keep strong, as there will be something out there for you and who knows, this move may, in the long term, be positive for your career.

Send your queries to Ash

“Ash” is a solicitor who is willing to answer work-related queries from solicitors and trainees, which can be put to her via the editor:, or at Suite 6b, 1 Carmichael Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PH. Confidence will be respected and any advice published will be anonymised.

Please note that letters to Ash are not received at the Law Society of Scotland. The Society offers a support service for trainees through its Education, Training & Qualifications team. For one-to-one advice contact Katie Wood, head of admissions on 0131 476 8162 or by email: 

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