It is not pleasant, but most people will at some point face having to quitting a job. More and more people are changing positions with increasing frequency in their professional lives. Are you facing having to quit your job for the first time, and unsure how?
Whether you are desperate to escape a draconian boss, found another better opportunity, relocating, or even out of sheer boredom, you should consider how you quit your job as just as important as getting hired.You should never quit your job in a way that might come back and haunt you later.
That might sound sensible enough, but actually handing in your resignation can be a very scary and sometimes stressful experience. This article will help you navigate the process of quitting and leaving your job in a professional and dignified manner. Read on for some tips on what you need to do when you quit your job.
Even before you hand in your resignation, and you are deciding to resign from a job, there are some important matters to think through. Dependent on your reason for leaving and how well you get along with you boss and colleagues, it can be difficult to resign tactfully.
First, it is important to make sure that quitting is definitely what you want to do. Make sure that you are leaving for good reasons that you have considered carefully, and aren’t quitting just because you are having a rough couple of weeks and feeling under pressure. Once you are sure of your decision, then you need to take a deep breath and follow through.
Here’s our guide to what you need to do and what you need to keep in mind when quitting your job.
Writing and Handing in Your Notice
According to recruiter Michael Spiro, the ideal time to give the boss your notice is on a Friday afternoon. The logic is sound. Your boss has less time to react, ask you a lot of questions or perhaps even argue with you. Everyone also has the weekend to think things over and absorb the news. One piece of advice from Suzy Welch is to eliminate your resignation being a total surprise. She suggests emailing your boss the night before to let them know you want to speak to them tomorrow, with the topic being your future at the company.
In most circumstances you will need to follow up your verbal conversation with your boss with a letter of resignation in writing. The letter you write should be brief, emphasis the positives and provide the period of notice, and your last day. A professional letter can also help maintain positive relationships with the company. Keep a copy for your records as well
Period of Notice
The length of notice you give your employer may depend on where you are employed and what the local employment laws or your contact dictate. You should know what your obligations are before you write your letter of resignation. Some positions it might be acceptable to leave immediately and in other positions you may be obligated to provide one month of notice. Even when you are not required to provide a period of notice, giving your employ at least 2 weeks would be considered courteous.
Typically, any ill feeling or burnt bridges happens between the response from the employer and how the employee then manages that response. Your boss probably won’t be happy, nor especially supportive of your decision. If you are a valued employee, then there is likely to be some remorse. Your boss may also be hurt and resentful, or even show some anger.
You may also get a lot of questions all of a sudden, as your boss tries to make sense of the situation. They could ask why you are leaving, where you will be working next, or even “what can we do to keep you?”. It is generally better to simply keep the information exchange to the minimum and not get drawn into any emotional responses. Remain calm and stick to your decision.
During the Transition
At the same time as you hand in your resignation letter, you will probably need to provide your boss with a list of your current work projects and their status. This is aimed at assisting with prioritizing what you should be working on during your notice period, and also for organizing hand over strategies. In consultation with your boss and co-workers tie off as many loose ends as you can.
You should continue to do your work to the same standard. You don’t want to make life harder for your boss or colleagues than it needs to be, even if you have to actually work a little harder right now. Employers may also require some assistance and support in the hiring process – so ensure you are available to answer questions, provide advice or update documentation as required.
Basically, be as helpful and supportive as possible during the transition. This is absolutely the right thing to do, and will help ensure that you leave on positive terms.
Mind Your Ethics as You Exit
It is important to remain professional and not do anything that might cause issue of concern. You don’t want to be sudddently emailing yourself a huge volume of company documents which you are not entitled to access to once no longer employed by the company. You don’t want to get into any uncomfortable situations about confidentiality.
Additionally, make the appropriate arrangements to return any company property you have. This might include: keys, computers, phones, documents, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you. You don’t want to be chased for it, and you don’t want to raise any concerns in your employer.
Many organizations will also conduct an exit interview or survey when employees leave. This gives employees a chance to provide feedback and thoughts to HR or management. Even in the face of huge issues and ill feeling, it is better to remain constructive in your feedback. You can be honest about why you are leaving to be informative, but without being overly detailed, negative or directing blame at specific people.
In all matters and at every step along the way and until your very last day, you should act with grace and dignity, and continue to demonstrate your professionalism and integrity.