13 steps to quit your job with grace. It’s important to quit your job in a way that is respectable, and doesn’t burn any bridges. This world we live in is really small, and you never know when you may cross paths with your colleagues or boss again. You may even want to go back to the company you just resigned from. So quit with grace so that you don’t destroy any relationships. Yes… if you are a good employee will boss will be hurt, there is no avoiding that. But ideally you want them to say (or think) “If you ever want to come back, we’d be happy to have you back”
1 – Make sure you really want to quit
There’s no going back on this one
2 – Accept another job offer
It’s easier to get another job when you have one… so don’t quit this one until you’ve already secured a job offer some place else. That is unless you’re quitting to become a full time youtuber, then go for it!
3 – Write a letter of resignation
Keep the letter short. State that you are resigning. Indicate your last day of work. And that you’ve appreciated the opportunity to work for the company. DON’T include why you are leaving. It doesn’t matter.
Your resignation date should be no less than 2 weeks from the time you actually say I quit. If you are in an important role, 3-4 weeks is even more respectful. If you’re a school teacher or professor you might want to give even more notice. They’re not going to “fire” you if you are doing a good job and have classes to finish. Think about the timing so you don’t leave your employer in a huge lurch.
4 – Think of a transition plan
Be prepared for your boss to ask you who you think might be best to cover your duties while they hire a replacement. Be prepared to give an answer. It could be split up amongst multiple people.
5 – Talk to your boss in person
Generally best to tell your boss that you would like to discuss “your future” with them in person, and ask for some time to meet to discuss it. Your boss may already know what that means, and give them some time to process the possibility. You don’t want to quit in the hallway, you want to have this conversation 1 on 1. This is the most respectful way to quit your job. If your boss is on travel it’s probably OK to do it over the phone.
DO NOT quit over e-mail… and DO NOT quit with HR. Your boss may say you need to bring your letter of resignation to HR… but start with your Boss. There is an exception to this… if you have a toxic relationship with boss, then go to HR, or your boss’ boss.
This doesn’t have to be a long conversation. Emphasize the positive, that you’ve appreciated working for the company and the opportunities they gave you, but that it’s time to move on.
This isn’t a time to complain or be negative. There’s no point. Go out on a sweet note, not a sour one.
Your boss may ask if money is the reason, or if they gave you a raise if you’d consider staying. I think this is a slippery slope, and counter offers are best avoided. If money is the issue, you should have had that conversation with your boss before getting to the “I quit” stage.
6 – Don’t tell other people you are quitting before your boss
This includes your peers, and management above your boss. You don’t want to create office gossip that your boss finds out from someone else that YOU are quitting.
Ask your boss if they would like to announce it before you tell anybody else.
7 – Thank your teammates / mentors
This is also best to do in person… but if you can’t, then by individual e-mails.
8 – Keep working until the end
Don’t get “short timers syndrome” — keep putting in the same effort you did before. People will appreciate if you are still working hard on the last day.
9 – Find out about your remaining benefits
Cashing in your leave, rolling over your 401K
10 – Return company property
Computers, phones, keys, etc
11 – Send out a “goodbye” e-mail
12 – Take some time off before you start your next job
13 – Watch more of my videos to prepare you for your next job! You might enjoy watching my video about How to NOT Seem Lazy at Work so you start off your next job right!