Ways to Quit Your Job Gracefully
Everyone loves a good job-quitting story-the more dramatic and bridge-burning, the better. Of course, an exit of such epic proportions isn't in the cards for most of us (though they're still fun to watch and read about). The further along we get in our careers, the less dramatic our reasons are for quitting-and the more easily our bosses can jeopardize our future employment with one bad reference.
But regardless of the cause, quitting's never an easy thing to do. Miscommunication abounds, feelings get hurt, and potential networking ties are irrevocably severed-but only if you don't know how to do it right. It's possible to quit a job gracefully if you take the right steps and avoid certain pitfalls.
Tell your boss in person that you're leaving.
He or she should be the first person in the office to know that you're quitting. Even if you swear your closest coworkers to secrecy, word has a way of getting around quickly, and you don't want your boss to hear it from someone else. Schedule the talk beforehand so that the two of you will have sufficient time to hash out the details of your exit. Showing up unannounced with that kind of news might make your boss feel even more stressed out.
Explain your reasons for quitting, but don't get upset or be hurtful.
Now's not the time to talk about how your coworkers conspire against you, nor should you start crying and apologizing for your departure. All you need to say is that you're leaving to pursue other opportunities. Bringing up any problems you have with the company is unprofessional and potentially damaging, especially if you plan on staying in the same field. If your boss thinks you're ungrateful or rude, that opinion could spread faster than you might think, and you don't want future employers getting a bad impression of you before you've even met them.
Write a resignation letter and give proper notice.
The resignation letter is for your records and the company's records, so keep it brief and professional-you need only include the fact that you're leaving and your last day's date. The reasons why are unnecessary. Speaking of the last day, be sure to give your employer at least two weeks' notice when quitting. Really, the more time your company has to find your replacement, the better, but anywhere from two weeks to a month is standard.
Keep up the hard work until the end.
It's all too easy to start slacking as soon as your job has an expiration date, but that's unfair to your coworkers. Finish all projects and tie up any other loose ends. Ask your boss if there's anything you can do to make the transition easier, such as training your replacement or at least creating a set of detailed instructions for someone else to use. Nice gestures like these solidify the good relationships you've formed while working there. Remember, former colleagues can be great networking connections.
Tidy up your desk.
You're going to take home all of your personal belongings, but don't leave the cleanup session at that. Wipe up dust, clean off your keyboard, and throw away trash. Whoever works there after you're gone shouldn't have to deal with a dirty desk.
For three more tips on quitting your job, visit DivineCaroline.
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