It is important for every person to recognize the moment when it is time to quit their job. There can be many reasons for such a decision, from being ready for a new step in your career to having frequent misunderstandings with your manager. But what is equally important is the question of how to quit a job.
Why is it crucial?
The answer is—because the consequences of an improper resignation can be far-reaching.
To help you go through the process as smoothly as possible, we have prepared some tips on how to quit a job while remaining professional without burning bridges. Keep reading to learn all about it!
- Before you decide on the best way to resign, make sure you really want to quit your job.
- Prior to speaking with your employer, look at your contract because it will most often contain the information on how far in advance you need to send a notice of resignation.
- It is professional and desirable that you personally inform your boss about quitting a job.
- In some situations, when a face-to-face meeting isn’t possible, you may need to resign via phone or email.
- Prepare yourself before you quit. Save your personal files and documentation, and do not tell others about your decision to quit a job before you speak to the manager.
Think If Quitting The Job is The Right Decision
The decision to resign is significant because a new chapter opens once you do it—the one for which you should be ready.
That’s why it’s very important to be 100% sure that you want to quit a job.
If you have been feeling that you are not progressing, nor do you see that there will be room for improvement in the future, the decision is probably certain. However, if you want to quit a job because you didn’t get a raise, maybe it’s better to talk to the manager and see if you can still get one.
The bottom line is— before you quit a job, there should be a specific and concrete reason why you are absolutely sure that you want to do it.
Reasons For Quitting a Job
Here are some reasons that indicate that it is time to quit your job:
- Family or personal reasons. You simply want to spend more time with your family after several years of hard work.
- Career advancement. It is absolutely reasonable to seek a new challenge after some time spent in one company when you have reached your maximum in every segment.
- Inadequate environment. Even if you are satisfied with how the employer manages the work and how much they pay you, the atmosphere at work is often of the utmost importance. Sometimes people decide to quit a well-paid job just because the atmosphere at work is not satisfactory.
- Dissatisfaction with the manager. If you are not on the same page with the manager, that may prevent you from expressing your potential.
- Unstable business. If the company has fallen into a crisis and there is no end in sight, it is possible that it is time to change your job.
7-Step Guide on How to Quit a Job
As we said, it is very important to quit your job professionally and leave the door open because your and your manager’s career paths may cross in the future.
The first step to showing your seriousness and professionalism is to personally inform your manager about your decision to quit a job. Always keep this in mind, although you will be forced to resign in another way in some situations.
Let’s see what else you should do once you quit your job.
#1. Save Necessary Files
Before quitting, save all the emails, files, and documents you might need. They are the result of your work and can be useful to you in the future. Of course, don’t do that with confidential data because you could even face a lawsuit.
#2. Hand in 2-Week Notice
Giving notice that you will quit your job is a common practice in the business world. This way, you will show your professionalism and give your employer the opportunity to prepare for your departure.
Usually, such a notice is given two weeks before the date you intend to quit your job. However, it’s best to look at the contract to see if it requires a longer notice period. If it does, you will have to adhere to it.
#3. Write a Letter of Resignation
Writing a resignation letter is another form of professional behavior towards the employer.
Since this is a formal letter, it should be short and clear. That means it should contain the following:
- Statement of resignation
- The name of the position you work in within the company
- The information on the last working day
- A few words of appreciation for the opportunity the company has given you
- An offer to help them handle all the responsibilities in the transition period
- Full name and signature
#4. Provide Reasons For Leaving
Although you are not required to disclose your reasons for leaving a job, it is not a bad idea to do so anyway.
You don’t have to go into depth, but again, this depends on your relationship with everyone in the organization. Be it an amazing opportunity to progress outside the company or a chance to begin working in a completely new industry, every reason is legit.
If the employer finds out what the reason for your resignation is and wants to keep you in the company, you may receive a counteroffer to stay.
In such cases, you can decide whether the offer is worth considering. If the change they are suggesting is good and changes the way you feel about the job, you can always decide to stay. However, if you’re still sure that you want to leave, you should politely repeat that your decision is final.
#5. Meet with an HR Representative or Supervisor
You won’t always be able to reach your boss and tell him you’re quitting. On the other hand, the HR staff and your supervisor are the points of communication between management and employees, and they can probably help in such cases.
That’s why it is a good idea to schedule a meeting in order to inform them of your decision to resign. Such a meeting is an additional chance to express gratitude for the support, pleasant experiences, new knowledge, and other nice things you experienced in the company.
#6. Conclude The Work
Finishing all the remaining tasks is one of the reasons why you will give a two-week notice to your employer before leaving the company. During that period, you need to complete all projects, write reports, and “leave a clean bill”—this is simply a business ethic that must be followed.
Also, during this period, you may be required to act as a mentor to the new employee. Your job will be to prepare them for their new (and your former) position. That will help both the employee and the company make the transition more smooth.
#7. Have an Exit Interview
A large number of companies understand the importance of the exit interview and make it their practice, so it would be good to prepare for it. Don’t worry—it’s not nearly as stressful as a job interview!
Exit interviews are usually conducted by an HR manager or a supervisor in order to get an answer as to why employees leave the company and what their opinion is on the company’s practices. Such insights will later help them improve their business.
Here are the questions you can expect:
- How did you find the onboarding process?
- How did you find the atmosphere on the team?
- How would you describe our company culture?
- What did you enjoy the most?
- What would you recommend to us in order to improve our business?
How to Quit a Job Over The Phone
Quitting your job over the phone should not be an option as long as you can do it face-to-face. However, chances are that, due to certain circumstances, you may end up in a situation where the only way to resign is this way.
Even then, you should know how to do it politely and professionally and avoid negative effects. Pay attention to the following:
- Call the supervisor and inform them that you want to quit a job. If they are too busy, the alternative is to contact the HR department and inform them about your decision.
- Don’t go into too much detail, just like you wouldn’t do it if you had to announce your decision to your supervisor face-to-face.
- Apologize for resigning in such a way. Make sure you tell them that you’re sorry for not being able to do that in person.
How to Quit a Job Over Email
When a face-to-face or video conference with your boss is not possible due to the business organization—for example, if your company has a remote work policy—an email is the best approach to resigning.
Here’s what the resignation email should include and how it should be written:
- First, the subject of the email should be clear, like “resignation.” This way, the employer will know right away what the email is about.
- Break the news without going into details. Clearly state that you will be resigning from your position as of a certain date. If you are leaving for personal or family reasons, you can clarify them briefly. It is also important to thank your boss for the opportunity and work experience as a way to show your appreciation. Maintaining good relationships is important because you never know if your paths will cross in the future.
- Offer to help the employee that will fill your position. This will help your boss make the transition for another person who will be your replacement easier.
Let’s see an example of such an email:
Subject of the email: Resignation
Dear Mr. Adams,
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as Project Manager. October 11, 2023, will be my last day at work.
I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to work for such an outstanding company as yours. It was a pleasure to be part of your team and gain such a quality and fulfilling experience.
Feel free to contact me by email or phone if any kind of assistance is necessary until I leave and at any time thereafter.
Once again, I thank you for everything, and I wish you all the best in your future work.
How to Quit a Job Immediately
Suppose you’re trying to figure out the most effective way to inform your employer that you need to quit your job immediately. You probably don’t want that decision or the manner in which you expressed it to harm your professional relationship.
If this is the case, here are some tips on how you should do it:
- Inform your employer directly—by phone or in person.
- Give a brief justification for your urgent leave.
- Apologize for resignation in that manner.
- Express gratitude for the time spent together.
4 Tips on How to Professionally Quit a Job
Choosing how to break the news about your resignation to your boss is a huge and significant step, so:
- Show respect. If you tell your boss about your plans to leave in a timely manner, you will give them time to find a good replacement and keep the work going without stopping or putting extra work on other employees.
- Show gratitude. It is the ideal time to express gratitude for the time you have spent working together and for the opportunity to be part of their team and business. You never know what the future holds, so it’s best to part on good terms.
- Be calm and polite. Regardless of how you ultimately feel about your employer, it’s always better to leave on good terms with a proper resignation and kindness.
- Prepare for a counteroffer. If you receive a counteroffer, give yourself some time to consider it before making a decision. Think about the reasons behind your resignation so that, in the event that you receive a counteroffer, you can decide whether it gives you all or most of what you were missing at your previous position.
Remember not to:
- Badmouth the firm. Saying negative things about your coworkers or the company will reflect poorly on you. You will disrespect the employer and risk losing potential connections and recommendations.
- Go into too much detail. Just briefly and clearly explain why you’re leaving, and don’t bother the employer with your future plans.
Maintaining a decent level of professionalism when resigning from a job is crucial for a peaceful and friendly parting. Having this in mind, we hope that this guide has helped you learn how to quit a job in the most professional way and transition to a better job opportunity more smoothly.
Now that you’ve made that decision, it’s time to say goodbye to your coworkers and boss in a proper manner. Fulfill your obligations to your employer, show them respect and grace, and begin a new chapter of your life with cheerfulness and positive energy!