We have all done it. We have all fantasized about walking into your boss’ office and saying maybe even yelling, “I QUIT,” right before walking out of the office or maybe saying something far worse. We’ve fantasized about just not showing up for work again, and letting them figure it out. We’ve probably all fantasized about telling our superiors exactly how we feel about them before we make our grand exit. No matter how good the fantasy seems, you should never ever do any of this.

On the other hand, leaving a job can be difficult. There is the anxiety of starting somewhere new, the sadness that comes when you are leaving some of your favorite coworkers, and the fear of burning your bridges.  It is possible to leave your job on good terms, and we want to give you some advice on how to do so. So here are tips on how to quit your job without ruining your chances of being re-hireable:

Tell your boss

Getting a new job is exciting, and no matter how you feel about your current job you should always tell your boss first that you are leaving. You don’t want it to get back to your boss from someone other than you. This will make you look completely unprofessional, and it would be horrible to be called into his/her office to explain why that rumor is going around.

Put in a notice

After you inform your boss that you are quitting, provide them and the human resources office with a written notice explaining that you are quitting and when your expected last day of service will be. You should always give your current employer at least a two-week notice. But if you can give a longer notice, that would be even better. Just make sure you let your next employer know you cannot start immediately. If you quit without notice, you will be burning bridges. Once there is a notice, you lose the power, and it is essentially up to the company to let you fulfill the time in the notice. Going about this properly can help ensure you get your full two weeks.

Be available

When you leave, you submit a notice, and it is your responsibility to fulfill that obligation. This means don’t plan on vacation time during your notice, and unless you are extremely sick make sure you go to work. Some companies will let you go if you miss any work during you notice period. If this happens, you likely won’t be hireable in the future, and it may jeopardize your eligibility for unused vacation pay. There is also a chance that you will be immediately let go if you call in.

Be modest and don’t gossip

While you are completely excited about your new job, you shouldn’t brag to your current employees about how “amazing” it will be. Of course, you will be excited, and people will ask you about your new gig, but don’t provide so much information that you alienate them. You don’t want to upset them because of jealousy, or pick fights. This could upset your current boss and make your work environment hard for the remaining time of your notice if you aren’t asked to leave early.

Return company property

Sometimes when you work for a company, they will lend you their property so that you can successfully do your job. You often have to sign a contract stating that you will return the property in good condition or pay for repairs. When leaving your job, do not forget to return their property. Also, make sure to return company credit cards to your boss.

Train your predecessor

If your boss has declared who will be taking over your position, you may be asked to teach that person. Try not to be irritated with this request and train the person to the best of your ability. If your replacement has not been found before your last day, try to provide as much information as you can to your boss about what projects you have yet to finish, how to handle your daily tasks, and what the future will look like for the new employee.

Say goodbye

Leaving your work friends can be difficult, but you just have to look forward to what is to come next. Don’t forget about the people you’ve spent your time with, make sure you say your goodbyes and stay in contact with your favorites. You can do lunches, you can offer to be a reference, you can connect with them, but don’t do that until you have the go ahead to let staff members know about your departure. You don’t have to look at it as closing a door and moving on, but more of a narrowed path you hope to travel down and visit your work friends again.


Your turn

What tips do you have for quitting your job respectfully?

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