Quitting a job gracefully is a life skill that every modern person needs. It is likely that at least once in your life you will find yourself unhappy with your work and ready to leave. You may even find a better opportunity that requires a graceful resignation from your current job.
Whatever the reason for your move, it is important to know how to quit a job without burning bridges. There are many stories of people that made rude or dramatic job resignations only to need a favor from their former boss or colleagues.
Read on for some great tips on how to resign gracefully from a job.
1. Resign With Respect
The first tip on how to quit a job is to leave your job respectfully. What does respect look like? Draft an official resignation letter as per your contract and work the required notice period. Leaving without letting your employer know is extremely unprofessional and could haunt your future career.
Resigning respectfully will ensure that you leave on a high note and earn the respect of your former as well as a new employer. If you are making a career change and perhaps even starting your business, you can always get references from your previous colleagues and employer if you left on good terms.
2. Your Manager Should Know the News First
It is extremely unprofessional for your manager to find out about your resignation through the grapevine. As soon as you decide to resign, plan a face to face meeting with your manager. During the meeting, you should discuss when you intend to leave your job, how to hand over your duties, and how your colleagues will be informed of your departure.
You can also hand in your formal resignation letter to your manager at the meeting. If you are unable to meet them, then a video call or phone call is also acceptable. You can then send the resignation letter via email after the call.
3. Plan What You Will Say During Your Resignation
Conversations you will have with your boss about resigning are bound to be awkward, even if you are leaving on good terms. To help the meeting go smoothly, practice your resignation speech before you go for the meeting.
Be ready with your answers on what you will say if your boss makes a counteroffer asking you to stay. Sometimes your boss could get emotional and ask you to take a few days to rethink your decision.
It is rarely advisable to accept a counteroffer from a job you are resigning from. And taking more days to consider your decision would just be delaying your plans.
Another tip for how to quit a job is to stay positive during your resignation meeting. When asked why you are quitting, talk about wanting a career change or career growth.
Don’t take it as an opportunity to complain about your former company, colleagues, or boss, even if they were all horrible. Don’t be tempted to make a dramatic exit as those who see it will remember your behavior and give you bad references for future jobs.
4. Submit a Resignation Letter
Another tip for how to quit a job gracefully is to hand in a resignation letter either in hard copy or via email. A formal resignation letter will clearly mark the date that you resigned from your job and will be used to calculate your final dues or in any legal disputes with your former employer.
What should you include in your letter? Keep your resignation letter brief and to the point. But make sure to include your contact details and your last working day which should incorporate your notice period. You should also include a brief explanation of why you are resigning and a few words of gratitude towards your former employer.
If you truly hated the job or had a bad experience working at the company, it is best to say you are resigning for personal reasons. This is better than going into detail about why you hated your job.
5. Finish Strong With a Great Handover
Another great tip for a graceful resignation is to do the best handover you can. Employment contracts usually have a notice period of between two weeks to one month. Do your best to be available for your whole notice period to handover your tasks to the person that would replace you.
Share any tips you picked up while at the position that may help your colleagues or replacement.
If you work for a company that is sensitive about their information, they may escort you out of the door as soon as your resignation is accepted. In such cases, you won’t need to work your notice but be very forthcoming and helpful if your former colleagues or employer call you to get information about the work you did.
Before resigning, you can also write detailed handover notes about your position. Hand these to your boss along with your resignation letter.
6. Return Company Property and Remove Your Items
As you approach your last day of work, make sure that you hand back all company property such as cell phones, laptops, vehicles, and files. Hopefully, all the items are in good condition when you hand them back. Your employer may charge you for any damaged items.
Take away any personal items such as photos, planners, Rolodexes, etc. Your desk should be completely clear for the next occupant.
Key Takeaway for How to Quit a Job
Modern employees must know how to quit a job professionally for the sake of their future careers.
Always be respectful of your former colleagues and employer when you quit, even if they have treated you disrespectfully in the past. This allows you to preserve your professional relationships and references. Leaving a job on a high note also allows you to come back to the company if a future suitable position arises.
For more career tips, read the rest of our blog.