We all love a good “rage-quit.” In fact, YouTube is filled with videos of people quitting their jobs in creative, explosive, and admittedly funny ways. Despite the entertainment value, quitting your job in an unprofessional manner can make getting the next one that much harder.
There are right ways to quit and there are wrong ways to quit your job. Quitting the right way will avoid burning bridges and ensure that you get a good recommendation for your next job. Here are tens tips on quitting in a professional manner.
1. Give warning
Do not just quit and walk out the same day. Take the time to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to tell him or her why you are quitting and when you would like to go.
You may have to negotiate some of the details to meet the needs of your company, but doing so will help to ensure a good recommendation for the future and keep everyone on amiable terms.
2. Be courteous
Do not insult people, do not complain about your “old” job, and do not brag about how great your new job will be. Continue to be friendly and helpful. You do not want your leaving to turn into something hostile or unpleasant.
3. Keep working
You may feel like your job is done, but you are accountable for your work until you walk out the door on your last day. Continue to work hard, adhere to office protocol, and be the same great employee you have always been. You will feel better, in the end, that you did your job to your fullest.
4. Prepare for the transition
Without being asked, start preparing your files and other important documents so that people can make sense out of your work once you are gone. If you have a replacement lined up, try to make the transition easy for the new person by leaving notes about important protocol and by organizing common tasks. You may even want to offer to train your replacement.
5. Tell colleagues
Unless your boss has asked you not to inform your colleagues about your departure, let them know as soon as possible that you are leaving. Be prepared to tell them why you are going because some of them may fear that their jobs are in jeopardy. Give everyone plenty of notice so that they can prepare for the changes that your departure will bring.
6. Show gratitude
Chances are good that someone helped make your working life a bit more manageable, interesting, or pleasant. Be sure to let those people know how helpful they were and how much of a difference they made in your life. This is the time to say all of the things (nice things) you’ve been meaning to say.
7. Legitimate reason
Be sure you have a legitimate reason for quitting that does not include “greener pastures.” You may have to bend the truth a little on this one, but telling a white lie to make people feel better about your departure may be the best thing for everyone. Whatever you do, don’t blame another coworker, your boss, or the work environment for your departure.
8. Send a letter
You should meet with your supervisor, in person, to discuss your departure. After the meeting, send a formal letter of resignation stating when you are leaving. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself.
9. Tell your direct supervisor first
You may have more than one boss and it may be that your most immediate supervisor has little say over hiring, resignations, and firing.
Even if your immediate boss will not be making the decision, let him or her know of your plans to leave first. Your boss will need to prepare to talk to upper management as well and will not appreciate being blindsided by news from above that you are leaving.
10. Do it on a Friday
Make your announcement (preferably through a scheduled meeting) on a Friday. Companies are most suited to dealing with resignations on Friday afternoons and it helps to avoid the post-resignation awkwardness that comes with an announcement that you are quitting. The weekend will give everyone a chance to recoup before you start your last two weeks of work.
Even if you hate your job, you need to be mindful of the needs of your company and your coworkers. Not everyone has the luxury of quitting, so do not make things worse for them by quitting in an unprofessional manner. Be the best version of yourself until you are finally outside the door after your last day of work.