How to Respectfully Quit Your Job

Leaving a job can be a humbling process filled with questions and uncertainty. The truth is, everyone in the world at one point has wanted quit their job. On average, employees who change jobs every two to three years earned 1 percent more year over year than those who stayed with the same employer.

No one wants to get stuck in a place where there is no upward advancement. So if you’re ready for a change or thinking about making it, you’re not alone. Whether you are experiencing job stress at your current position or looking for a simple job change, be sure to quit gracefully.

Job Hunt Secretly

The most important piece of advice that my father ever gave me was to never quit a job without having another one first. So when you know you are ready for a change, update your resume on platforms like LinkedIn and Google+. But make sure to be discreet about your updates.

If you get an interview and the company cannot schedule it outside of your work schedule, consider taking a personal or vacation day. This can prevent you from being distracted about what you are potentially missing at your current job and help you focus on the interview.

It can be so exciting when you start searching for a new position, but make sure not to tell people until you’ve locked down a new gig. Doing so will prevent your current company from replacing you before you are ready to leave.

Leverage Your Current Job

Don’t be afraid to leverage the knowledge that you have obtained at your current company to get another job. If you were very successful in specific areas of your position, voice that to the interviewing company. But be sure to keep it realistic for your skill set.

If they talk to you about salary, be prepared to negotiate based on what you would like to be making. A survey showed that 75 percent of people who successfully negotiated salary in their last job were happy. The best part about negotiating while you have a job is you have nothing to lose.

It can be normal to want to use a manager or boss as a reference — they have most likely gotten to know you pretty well over your time at their company — but most of the internet will tell you to avoid this. I, however, have always added my direct supervisor to my list of references but have asked the potential employer not to contact them until I have had a chance to let them know I’m leaving. Most companies have been understanding of this and have seen value in what it means to have a CEO as a reference.

Resign Gracefully

Only write and submit a resignation notice to your current company when you know that you have another job waiting for you. Have an offer letter or employee contract signed, know how much you will be paid, what benefits you will receive, as well as when you are expected to start.

You should always aim to quit in person. A one-on-one conversation is important to maintaining the integrity of your relationship with the company, so shoot for this if at all possible. But if your boss is not in the same country as you, try to tell them via phone.

Be professional while telling your boss you are quitting. Remember that this conversation isn’t about focusing on what has happened but instead what will happen in the upcoming weeks. Offer to help out with hiring or to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) document outlining your current responsibilities within the company. Offer to help your superiors determine the best way to transfer the duties onto a new employee. It’s important to move on without burning bridges.

Be Prepared for Hiccups

The normal time frame for giving a notice is two weeks; however, there may be circumstances either at your old job or new job that make this notice either longer or shorter. If you work a higher level position in the company, be prepared to offer a month-long notice. This will give you old company adequate time to hire and train your replacement.

Be prepared for the possibility that your current company may present you with a counter offer. If this is the case, explore the option of what it would mean to stay. If the income and added benefits make staying a lot more desirable, consider it. If you are generally unhappy with the company, no amount of money can change that. It might be exciting to get a potential raise, but down the road if the overall situation that made you unhappy hasn’t changed, you risk suffering in a toxic environment longer.

Ultimately, there are probably plenty of reasons why you have probably considered leaving your job. Maybe it’s because you aren’t making enough money in your position, or maybe there isn’t any room for advancement in your company. If you find yourself stuck in a rut or bored at work on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to cut ties before your reputation goes south. If you are ready for a change, make sure that you execute the proper steps with grace, respect, and power.


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