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How to Quit a Job in a Professional Manner (What You Need To)


How to Quit a Job in a Professional Manner: For good reasons, you may want or need to leave your current job. It is customary to give your employer two weeks’ notice when leaving.

How to Quit a Job in a Professional Manner (What You Need To)

How to Quit a Job in a Professional Manner

What’s the best way to quit your job? Quitting isn’t always easy, even if you hate your job or your boss and can’t wait to start a new position. Even if you are about to be fired, it can be difficult to resign tactfully.

If you are thinking about leaving your job, here are some important points to think through before you turn in your resignation. When you’re sure you’re ready to quit, there are ways you can resign gracefully and leave on good terms

1. Make Sure You Really Want to Quit

There are a few warning signs that it’s time to go, including reduced productivity, physical complaints, and finding your conversation at home dominated by work-related issues.

Even if you have every reason in the world to resign, it might not be a good idea to quit your job right away. Make sure that you’re leaving for the right reasons, rather than quitting because you’re having a bad week and it seems like it won’t get better any time soon.

Once you’re certain that you want to quit, handle your resignation as carefully as you would handle any other business endeavor. It’s always wise to not alienate your current employer. You never know when you will need them for reference.

2. Consider All Your Options

Do you have another job offer? If so, weigh the pros and cons of the new position versus your current position. Consider the work environment, flexibility, salary, and benefits in addition to the job responsibilities.

How about opportunities to advance? If the new job comes out ahead on all counts and you feel sure that this is the right change to make, don’t hesitate.

If you’re still on the fence about the next position you are considering taking, ask if you can spend a day in the office “shadowing” the staff.

Do you have enough savings or other income to manage financially? Even if your employment situation isn’t the best, you might want to consider hanging on to the job you have and start your job search before you resign.

That old saying that “it’s easier to find a job when you have a job” holds true.

3. Give Adequate Notice (When Possible)

If you have an employment contract that states how much notice you should give, abide by it. Otherwise, it’s appropriate to offer two weeks’ notice. Sometimes, you may feel that you cannot stay for another couple of weeks.

When that happens, it’s important to conduct yourself professionally in every other way, such as sending a formal resignation letter, offering to help to the best of your abilities, and keeping things positive until you go.

If your employer asks you to stay longer than two weeks (or the time in your contract), you have no obligation to stay. Your new employer will expect you to start as scheduled, and in a timely manner.

What you could do is offer to help your previous employer after hours, via email, or on the phone.

4. Finalize the Details of Your Departure

Find out about the employee benefits and salary you may receive upon leaving. Inquire about collecting unused vacation and sick pay, and keeping, cashing in, or rolling over your 401 (k) or another pension plan.

Note: You may be asked to take part in an exit interview prior to your departure. Review sample exit interview questions to get an idea of what you’ll be asked during such an interview.

5. Return Company Property

Return any company property you have, including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you.

The company doesn’t want to chase you to get it back, and you don’t want to be held responsible if it’s not returned in a timely manner.

What to Do Before You Quit Your Job

After you turn in your resignation, some companies will expect you to provide and work your two weeks’ notice, while other companies will want you out the door by the end of the day or even immediately. In that case, you may—or may not—not be paid for the duration of the notice period.

Most times, as soon as you turn in your resignation, you’re done—your employer will ask you to hand over your work ID or badge and box up your personal items, and you will then be escorted to the door.

1. Are You Covered?

Before you make that final decision to quit, make sure that you have a new job or another source of income lined up. If you don’t, make sure you have enough money saved to live comfortably for at least six months or so.

Also, check on your health insurance coverage if you don’t yet have another job lined up. You may be able to continue coverage via COBRA, but be sure to check this out before you resign.

The government’s Health Insurance Marketplace is another option. Here is more information on the difference between COBRA and the government’s Health Insurance Marketplace.2

2. Clean Up Your Computer

Make sure that your personal information isn’t left behind when you leave your job. That way, you won’t have to worry about someone accessing your personal information in your absence. Below is a list of different items on your computer that you should deal with before resigning:

Computer Documents: If you have personal documents, email a copy of each to your personal email address or save them online. Then, delete the files from your office computer.

Email: Do the same with personal email messages that you want to save. Forward them to a private email address and then delete them.

If you have online accounts where you have used your business email address for the account login, change the accounts to your personal email address.

Also, make sure you have the email addresses and phone numbers of the people you want to stay in contact with.

After you resign, send a goodbye letter to coworkers in which you can share your personal email address and phone number with them, if you wish.

However, do not send a goodbye letter (or tell coworkers you are leaving) before you resign. If word gets to your boss that you are resigning, he or she will not be pleased to have heard it through the grapevine.

Software: If you downloaded software that is only relevant to you, not to the job, delete it. Delete any messaging programs or apps you’ve downloaded as well.

Internet Browsers: Delete your browsing history, cookies, saved passwords, and saved forms from your web browsers. You’ll typically be able to do this by going to “Tools” on your internet browser.

There is usually an option such as “Delete Browsing History” or “Clear Private Data.” Do this for every web browser you have used at work.

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3. Clear Out Your Office

Do you have years’ worth of old paper files in your office? Get rid of them. Only keep what’s relevant and necessary for the person who will be doing your job next.

You’ll want to get to the point where you can easily bring home what’s left in a single box or bag. Therefore, if you have a lot of personal items, bring them home a little at a time, or throw out what you don’t need to keep.

Your goal is to be able to leave your job with a clean slate (with no personal/private information left behind) and at a moment’s notice. If you take some time to prepare before you quit your job, you will be all set for a smooth transition.

4. Leave on a Positive Note

By following these steps, you will not only be ready to leave, but you will hopefully avoid burning bridges with the company you are leaving.

After all, you might need a recommendation or you might end up working with the company again in the future. Do everything you can to leave on a positive note.

If you have any questions concerning How to Quit a Job in a Professional Manner, please feel free to use the comment box below and ask us your question. We will be very pleased to answer you.

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