How to Quit Your Job – Gracefully

How to Quit Your Job
You should never leave a job on bad terms.

While we’ve all had fantasies of quitting our jobs in a dramatic fashion, it’s rarely a good idea to do so. The way you quit your job can have long-range consequences on your career, that’s why it’s important to resign on good terms.

Learn Your Company’s Policy on Resignation

Take time to review your employee handbook to learn any policies that could impact your resignation such as severance, returning company property, and pay for unused vacation time.

Give Two Weeks Notice, Maybe More

It’s standard practice to give two weeks notice, although some companies require more. You should however, be prepared to leave in a hurry in case your company asks you to leave immediately or even escorts you out (this has been known to happen).

Prepare yourself by ensuring all personal files are removed from your work computer before announcing your resignation. This means scrubbing your digital profile: clear your browser cache, remove passwords from web browser and unlink your any cloud applications that use your personal information (i.e. iCloud, Dropbox or Google Drive).

It should be noted, there are times when you shouldn’t give two weeks notice:

  • You have been sexually harassed or physically abused by a colleague/employer
  • Your work environment is unsafe, including physically or mentally
  • Your wage is being withheld
  • You’ve been asked to perform duties that are unethical or illegal

Don’t Slack Off During Those Last Two Weeks

Pull your weight before you leave – slacking off at this point can be detrimental to the personal brand you’ve worked so hard to build. Be responsive, meet your deadlines and leave detailed progress reports for your managers and co-workers.

Train Your Replacement Effectively

If time remains, train your replacement as effectively as you can. Your company will appreciate your effort, as will your replacement. It’s also hard to criticize a former employee who has been so generous with their time.

Be Honest but Respectful During the Exit Interview

The exit interview is not the time to air your grievances, however it is important to be honest – at least for your employer’s sake. During the exit interview, remain civil and diplomatic while answering as truthfully as possible. Your answers to these questions could help improve the work environment for your colleagues.

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