How to Quit a Job with Grace

Whether you love or hate your job, quitting it isn’t easy. Figuring out how to quit a job can be really challenging. 

If you loved it, you may feel emotional, even if you’re going on to bigger and better things. If you hated it, a hundred fantasies – involving destructive treatment of property and profanity-laced language – may be going through your head.

Don’t worry. It’s possible to quit your job with grace. You don’t need to burn bridges or hurt feelings in order to leave your employer. These tips will help you put your plans to depart into action – the right way.

Consider Your Reasons and Plan Ahead

You know why you’re quitting. Your boss needs to know as well. Plan ahead by pulling all of your details together before you approach your supervisor or HR department. The more prepared you are, the easier the process will be.

Start by selecting a specific date for your final day. Consider the period of time that you are required or expected to provide before your departure (like a two-week or seven-day notice) and choose accordingly. It’s a courtesy to your co-workers and boss to provide adequate notice.

Once you’ve decided on r last day is established, write a formal resignation letter. Make it short, sweet, and simple. You don’t need to delve into three paragraphs of how difficult it is to leave or describe in painstaking detail the way you made your decision. Brief is best. Here’s an example:

Dear Mr. Walburg,

This letter is to inform you of my resignation from my position as Head Chef for Barkley’s Steakhouse, effective January 14, 2020. I truly appreciate the opportunities you’ve provided to me during my time as Head Chef. It’s been a wonderful experience working with you and our team. I am more than happy to assist in the transition process to make this change as easy as possible.

Thank you,
Jonathan Day

Talk to Your Boss

Even with your letter in hand, you can’t drop it on your boss’s desk and run. You still need to announce your departure live and in person. This might not be a comfortable conversation, but it’s an important one nonetheless.

First, ask your boss for a word during a calm time when he or she isn’t likely to be busy, up against a deadline, or interrupted. You can try to write a script, but these conversations usually go best when the dialogue is organic. Just keep your tone positive, professional, and purposeful so that you leave with grace and secure a strong recommendation from your employer if needed.

Last Steps

Make sure that you wrap up loose ends before you leave. Finish any projects you’re currently responsible for managing, train a colleague to fill your shoes, or record your best practices for the person who will take your place. Be mindful not just of your own emotions and goals, but of the needs and feelings of your team at work as well.

When it’s finally time to leave for good, say goodbye to colleagues through a note, email, or in-person when possible. Give them a way to stay in touch so that it doesn’t feel like you’re burning one bridge in a hurry to hop to another.

With these tips in mind, you can exit gracefully from any position, even when tensions are high. Even if you don’t want to extend these courtesies, it will help you in the long run. It’s never a good idea to create bad blood that could come back to haunt you in the future. Knowing how to quit a job properly is the first step to finding your next one. Every positive recommendation you can secure or memory you can leave behind is another stepping stone to success.

Don’t wait to get out of debt! Read this: A Complete, Step-By-Step Guide to Get Out of Debt.

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