7 Ways to Quit Your Job Gracefully.

Just Because You’re Leaving Doesn’t Mean You Should Burn Bridges

So you’re quitting? Congratulations on getting a new gig or just getting out of your old job that wasn’t working. But no matter why you’re leaving, make sure you do it the right way.

Your parents probably told you to be the bigger person, right? Well now it’s time to put that to the test. And that test can be pretty difficult if you really hated your job. There’s no question that, for some people, it feels really good to quit with a bang and stick it to everyone who wronged you in the past. But even though that’ll give you instant gratification, it could have long-term negative repercussions on your future employment.

Even the worst jobs usually have some sort of silver lining. So when you’re getting ready to leave, think about the one or two things you learned that will be of value going forward, and appreciate those nuggets. Be a professional, take the high road (even when no one would blame you for going nuclear), and avoid purposely leaving your company in a bad predicament when you walk out the door. Here are some tips to remember before your last day.

7. Give Enough Notice

First thing’s first — give ample notice.

For most people, the standard (and bare minimum) is two weeks. If you really liked your job but just found a better opportunity, then do everything possible to give them as much time to mitigate your loss as possible. This shows your appreciation for everything you’ve learned while on the job, and maintains a positive relationship going forward. But even if you had a terrible boss at a rotten company, you should still give them the courtesy of two weeks notice because you’re a professional.

Some businesses might be choose to escort you out the door early. That’s their call. But you should still stick with the courtesy of giving proper notice.

 

6. Request an Exit Interview

Whether your experience at the company you’re leaving has been pleasant or abysmal, an exit interview is still a good idea.

Even if they’re not offering it, you should think about requesting one. Exit interviews allow you to officially thank your employer for the time you’ve spent there, the experience you’ve gained, and all you’ve learned in the process. It’s also a great time to make sure you can rely on the higher-ups for a reference or even a future collaboration that is mutually beneficial. It also gives you an opportunity to provide some constructive criticism about the company, and politely explain what circumstances led to your leaving.

A good manager will value that information and use it to keep other high-value employees from jumping ship.

5. Create a Manual & Offer to Train Your Replacement

When you leave, it’s going to be chaos for everyone else still working there for a little while. So why not try to make that turmoil a little easier?

The first thing you should do is create a manual for whoever is coming in to fill your position. Just an outline of what you do, your schedule, and how you go about accomplishing your job responsibilities. Be sure to include any necessary passwords (especially for things like corporate social media accounts or any program that requires access only you have had) so you aren’t fielding desperate calls while you’re getting your feet wet at your new job. Also, if your company knows who your replacement will be, offer to spend your remaining time training him/her so the transition will be smoother when you finally leave.

4. Let Coworkers & Clients Know

As simple as this one sounds, you’d be surprised at how often employees leave and the people left behind — as well as clients — have no clue.

This likely happens more in bigger companies where communication can often fall through the cracks, or during summer when lots of people are out on vacation. But there are times when workers have tried to reach someone within the company because they’re collaborating on a project, only to find out the lack of a response is because the person has left the company. Don’t let employees and clients find out you’re gone from someone else. Reach out and let them know via phone or email, and don’t forget to put up an out of office explaining what’s happened on your email system.

This also serves as a great way to thank everyone you worked with over the years while you’re informing them of the news.

3. Finish Your Work

It’s tempting to feel like you’ve got one foot out the door and you want to start focusing on the future. But resist it.

If you’ve got a whole bunch of loose ends, tie them up before you leave. Or if you can’t finish everything, at least let your coworkers and managers know where everything stands so it’s not total confusion after you’re gone. Make sure the big presentation you’re supposed to do is finished before you go, get your team members up to speed about where you are on big projects, and do all the things you were supposed to get done before your time is up. It’s just the right and responsible thing to do, because it’s no fun to pick up the slack of others in a pinch.

2. Don’t Be Petty

This is especially important because we live in the age of social media. When a few seconds of anger recorded into a Facebook status update or tweet can impact your life forever.

Were you treated like crap? Are you angry? Is it tempting to post a last-day-of-work selfie while giving the biggest of middle of fingers and uploading it to Instagram? Yes, it can be tempting. Very tempting, actually. But don’t do it. Despite the number of likes you’ll get from like-minded people fed up with their jobs, it’ll eventually be found by someone. Someone who might make hiring decisions at a company where you’d really like to work. And in the end, any gain you get from sticking it to your old bosses will soon be dwarfed by other people seeing what you’ve done, and deciding not to hire you because you might do the same thing to them.

1. Keep It Positive

In the end, it’s best to stay positive and focus on the positives.

Find the things that were good about the job and be glad you learned something. Take the good connections you’ve made and add them to LinkedIn, use them as references, and know that at least you’ve gained some kind of advantage from your time there. And, most importantly, don’t go badmouthing your old employer when you start your new job. You never know who is connected to who, and that stuff finds a way to come back and bite you. You’re out, you’re moving on, so focus on the future.

 

Good luck.

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