10+ Key Tips to Quit Your Job the Right Way
In today’s job market, it’s become increasingly rare for an employee to stay with the same company for their entire career. So, sooner or later, we’ll find ourselves in a situation where we’re ready to quit our jobs. Whether it’s because we’ve been offered a better position, escaping a toxic work environment, or because we’re relocating to a different city or country, quitting a job can be an intimidating prospect. This is especially the case since the way we quit our jobs is just as important as how we start a new one.
Here are twelve tips to remember when handing in your notice.
Poll: Quitting a Job
Have you resigned from a job before?
How to Quit Your Job the Right Way
1. Know and Follow the Rules
Every company will have different rules and processes for employees who are leaving. Most companies will require an official, written resignation letter and exit interviews with your superiors. During your exit interview, make sure you’re clear on what employee benefits and any remaining salary you’re entitled to when you leave. Do you have an unused vacation or sick pay available for you to collect? Can you maintain your pension plan? It may help to prepare a list of questions to ask during your meeting with your superiors so you don’t miss anything and know exactly what you need to do.
2. Be Respectful
An exit interview will be held in most companies to give you the opportunity to share feedback, for the company to have a chat and perhaps try to renegotiate to see if they can make you stay. During your meeting, make sure you stay professional and carefully word any criticisms you may have no matter how frustrated you feel. No matter how much you may want to give your superiors a piece of your mind, keep the conversation positive and constructive.
3. Help With the Transition
It’s easy to think: You’re leaving in a week or two anyway, so why bother taking on more work? Yes, it’s tempting to slack off in the days leading up to your exit from the company, but don’t.
Stay professional and spend your time at the office making the transition as seamless as possible for your coworkers. Pass on anything that needs to be passed on, tie up any loose ends, and train your replacement if they've started work already. It’s always smart to leave your workplace in a better condition than when you arrived. Leaving a positive impression may help your career down the line since you never know when you’ll see your colleagues again.
4. Stay Professional
While it may feel deeply satisfying to trash your desk and walk out without a backward glance, you will come to regret it later. You never know when you’ll need a good reference, or when future employers will call up your previous colleagues for a chat. It can only work in your favor if you leave with integrity and professionalism.
5. Maintain Your Integrity
On the subject of integrity, don’t do anything unethical, illegal, immoral, or anything that goes against your company’s policies before you leave (or even after you’ve left, for that matter). No further explanation should be necessary for this point.
6. Ask For a Reference
Don’t forget to ask for an official letter of recommendation from your immediate supervisor. As time passes and people move on to other jobs or countries, it can be easy to lose track of ex-colleagues and employers. So if you don’t know how to get in touch with your past employer anymore when you need their contact information for a job application, you’ll have that letter of recommendation handy. You can also upload the letter on LinkedIn to allow any prospective employers a better understanding of what kind of worker you will be.
7. Return Company Property
Don’t make your company chase you to get any keys, documents, phones, computers, or any other company property back. No matter what kind of information you may have handled during your time at the company, you don’t want to get stuck in a potentially compromising situation just because you were a little slow on returning company property.
8. Prepare For the Exit Interview
Prepare for your exit interview just as you would a job interview. Prepare for multiple scenarios. What would you do if your superiors want to you stay and makes you a very favorable counter offer? If there are circumstances that may delay your departure from the company, how would you respond? Know why you want to leave and if there will be anything that could convince you to stay. If your reason for leaving is negative, try to word it as tactfully, but honestly, as possible if asked.
Poll: Reasons For Quitting
What was the reason for quitting your last job?
4 Major Don'ts When Quitting Your Job
1. Don't Be Negative
When talking about your departure with colleagues, don’t complain or express your frustrations in a negative way. Not only will you leave a bad impression, but it will always be in your best interest to leave the company on positive terms.
2. Don't Brag
Just like you shouldn’t complain about your current job to your co-workers, you should also avoid bragging about your new job. It's not worth it to make your soon-to-be ex-colleagues feel bad about your leaving or that you’ve found something better. Celebrate your new job outside of the office instead.
3. Don’t Write Everything Down
No matter how much you dislike your job, your company, or your boss, don’t put it in your resignation letter. That letter will be in your employment file for years after you’ve moved on with your life and can come back to haunt you. If you need to vent, vent to your close friends and family, not at work.
4. Don't Just Leave
Even if your colleagues don’t throw you a farewell party, don’t forget to say goodbye. Send an email to tell your colleagues that you’re moving on to something else and to say goodbye. If you’d like to stay in touch, you can choose to leave them your personal contact information as well.
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