How to Quit Your Job

Everything You Need to Know to Resign From Your Job

Image by Katie Karpel. © Jacara 2018

Turning in your resignation isn't always easy, even if you or boss or can't wait to start a new position. Even if you are about to be , it can be difficult to resign tactfully. If you are considering resigning from a job, here are some important points to think through before you turn in your resignation.

First of all, be sure that you really do want to quit. Here are the that it's time to look for a new job. Also, here's a list of good (and bad) , and a list of . Make sure that you're leaving for the right reasons, rather than quitting because you're having a bad week and it seems like it won't get better any time soon.

If you are certain that you want to quit, handle your resignation as carefully as you would handle any other business endeavor. It's always wise to not burn bridges. You never know when you will need your past employers for a reference.


Watch Now: 7 Tips for Quitting Your Job

Review Resignation Pros and Cons

Before you make the , be absolutely sure that this is the right decision. You don't know how long it will take for an employer to move on and fill your position if you change your mind.

If you're still on the fence about the next position you are considering taking, ask if you can spend a day in the office "shadowing" the staff. It may reinforce your decision to take the position or help you decide you don't want the new job after all.

Weigh the Options

Do you have another ? If so, versus your current position. Consider the work environment, flexibility, salary, and benefits in addition to the job responsibilities. How about opportunities to advance? If the new job comes up ahead on all counts and you feel sure that this is the right change to make, don't hesitate.

If you don't have another position lined up, consider the basics before quitting. It will take about three to six months, sometimes longer, to find a new job. Unless you , you may not be eligible for .

Do you have enough savings or other income to manage financially? Even if your employment situation isn't the best, you might want to consider hanging on to the job you have, as well as your paycheck, and start your job search before you resign. That old saying that "it's easier to find a job when you have a job" does hold true.

Give Adequate Notice

If you have that states how much notice you should give, abide by it. Otherwise, it's appropriate to offer . However, in some cases, you may feel that you are for another couple of weeks.

You Have No Obligation to Stay Longer

If your employer asks you to stay (or the time period in your contract) you have no obligation to stay. Your new employer will be expecting you to start as scheduled, and in a timely manner. What you could do is offer to help your previous employer, if necessary, after hours, via email or on the phone.

How to Quit Gracefully

The formal way to resign is to and to tell your supervisor in person that you're leaving. However, depending on circumstances, you may need to or to .

Write a Resignation Letter

Regardless of how you resign, write a . A resignation letter can help you maintain a positive relationship with your old employer, while paving the way for you to move on. You never know when you might need that old employer to give you a reference, so it makes sense to take the time to write a polished and .

What to Say to Your Boss

Don't say . Emphasize the positive and talk about how the company has benefited you, but also mention that it's time to move on. Offer to help during the transition and afterward.

Don't be negative. There's no point - you're leaving and you want to leave on good terms. Here are tips on and here's a to review. Also, do your best to . Be prepared, as well, to.

Ask for a Reference

Before you leave, ask for a from your manager. As time passes and people move on, it's easy to lose track of previous employers. With a letter in hand or a LinkedIn recommendation online, you'll have documentation of your credentials to share with prospective employers.

Don't Forget the Details

Find out about the and salary you are entitled to receive upon leaving. Inquire about collecting unused vacation and sick pay, and keeping, cashing in, or rolling over your 401(k) or other pension plan.

You may be asked to participate prior to your departure. Review sample to get an idea of what you'll be asked during an exit interview.

Return Company Property

Return any company property you have - including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn't belong to you. The company doesn't want to chase you to get it back, and you don't want to be held responsible if it's not returned in a timely manner.

Before you turn in your resignation, review these and as possible.