Quitting your job is a big decision. While some people may decide to go into their boss’ office on a whim, tell them that they quit and then storm out, that’s not the way you want to do it. There is a right way to quit your job; one that allows you to not feel guilty, not burn bridges, and have some money coming in before you leave. If you want to know how to quit your job the right way, read on for questions to ask yourself before you quit as well as tips to do it the right way.

Ask Yourself These Questions Before Quitting Your Job

When you’re thinking about quitting your job, you should ask yourself if you’re doing it for the right reasons or if you’re just having a bad day or week.

  • Is there reduced productivity?
  • Are you “bringing your work home with you” frequently? (meaning that you’re bringing your work problems home and they’re consuming you)
  • Do you dread getting up every morning and going to work (not just because you’re tired)?
  • Are you no longer passionate about what you’re doing at work?
  • Did you get another offer that’s better than your current position?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be deciding to quit for the right reasons. Remember, everyone’s situation is different.

How to Quit Your Job Without Feeling Guilty

If you’ve decided you are quitting your job for the right reasons, then it’s time to do it the right way.

There are generally two types of people who quit their jobs, those who can’t wait to leave because they’ve had enough and those who feel guilty about leaving. If you fall into the second group, there are things you can do to not feel guilty.

Give Enough Notice. Whether you have a job lined up or not, you want to give your employer enough notice. Two weeks is generally an acceptable amount of time. If your boss asks you to stay longer, you shouldn’t feel guilty about saying no. Your new job may require you to start in two weeks, so staying longer at your current job is not viable.

Don’t Give Too Many Details. When people feel guilty, they tend to overshare. Don’t give more details about why you’re leaving then you have to. You don’t “owe” anyone an explanation.

Write a Resignation Letter. Besides verbally telling your boss that you’re leaving, it’s also a good idea to write a letter of resignation. This solidifies everything in writing, including your last day of employment.

Tell Your Boss Before Telling Co-Workers

Your boss shouldn’t find out that you’re quitting while he’s around the watercooler. While you may be excited and want to tell your co-workers, resist the urge. Even if someone tells you they’ll keep quiet, things can slip out. 

If your boss finds out about your intentions through other co-workers, he or she may feel betrayed and disrespected. If this happens, you can say goodbye to getting that reference letter or anything else you were going to ask for before you left. Give them the respect of telling them first. Once you do, then you can share the news with the rest of the office. 

Also, when you tell your boss, do it in person. Although everyone emails and texts these days, you shouldn’t quit your job that way. Doing it in person is the right way to do it. When you decide to tell your boss, give them a heads up that you want to talk to them about something. This will allow them to clear some time on their schedule to devote to your meeting. This can make the news easier to break rather than just barging in unexpectedly. Generally, bosses don’t like those types of surprises.

Don’t Burn Bridges

Many times people quit their jobs only to return to the same place a few years later in a different position. People can do this because they didn’t burn any bridges when they left. 

Don’t start yelling at anyone during your last two weeks or slack off. Even if you’re upset about something, you don’t want to have an outburst and say something you’ll regret, even though you are leaving. 

Instead, do your job to the fullest of your ability until your last day. This shows your commitment to your job and to seeing things through. If a replacement is hired while you are still employed, offer to train them. No one else is going to know your job as well as you. This also shows your boss that you care about the company and about what happens.

Lastly, be sure to say thank-you to any mentors or anyone who has helped you along the way. Expressing gratitude says a lot about your character. Your co-workers and supervisors will remember that you left your job on a high note. This will work in your favor if you ever decide to return.


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Have Another Job Lined Up

It’s often advised to have another job lined up before you quit your current one. This will help you maintain financial responsibility. While some people get lucky and find a new job right away, for others it can take three months or even up to a year to find the perfect fit.

Your new job should be something that you truly enjoy. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to do something that is your real passion. But, in the very least, it should be a job that gives you some type of purpose and contentment.

Return Any Company Property

While you may walk away with some post-it notes and a pen, you don’t want to take company property with you when you leave. This is especially true of any electronics, passwords, or keys that you may have been trusted with. It doesn’t look good if the company has to hound you to return these items. Why would you want to keep them anyway? 

Any accounts you have will likely be disabled as well as any access badges. Give all company property back when you leave to avoid any trouble or awkwardness. Doing so will also help you to also avoid burning any bridges when you leave. No one would want to hire you back if you’re reluctant to return items that are not rightfully yours.

How to Quit Your Job if You Just Started

One of the hardest things can be quitting your job if you just started. Maybe it wasn’t the job you envisioned or maybe something better came along. Whatever the case, you should handle it the same way as you would if you were working there for a long time.

You should still give two weeks notice. Your employer is now going to find a replacement after he just hired you. While there may have been a “second choice” candidate, your employer may also have to start from scratch. Either way, you want to give the courtesy of the two weeks. You’ll also want to tell your employer in person and before you tell any co-workers, just as you would if you had been working there for years.

Be honest about why you’re leaving. Don’t makeup excuses about why you’re leaving. Be honest and give the real reasons why you don’t want to work there anymore. Your boss will respect you more for it. Plus, it will help you to avoid burning any bridges if you were to want to try to return at any time.

Don’t damage your reputation in the industry. Many bosses in similar industries tend to talk to one another. You don’t want to be blacklisted because you decided to quit right away. That’s why giving the proper notice and being honest about why you’re leaving is so important. 

Doing these things can make the process less awkward. If you’re feeling guilty or bad about leaving, use this as a learning tool. Perhaps you need to take more time when choosing a new job or need to get more details before accepting it. Doing these things can help you avoid needing to quit after you just started.

Tell Your Significant Other About Your Decision

While it is your decision to quit your job, it’s a good idea to tell your significant other, especially if you’re married or living together and sharing expenses. Your decision to quit your job may have an impact on your finances, especially if you don’t have something else lined up. This may also affect your significant other.

Having a discussion about quitting your job with your significant other before you do it can provide you with a new perspective. It may even make you realize that you’re quitting for the wrong reasons, or it may help you validate your decision. Either way, you don’t want to keep them in the dark about a decision that could also impact them.

When it comes to how to quit your job, following these simple tips can make the process go much smoother. You can feel good that you’ve left on a positive note and for the right reasons as you embark on your new career.

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