7 Tips For Quitting a Job Professionally and Maintaining Those Relationships

7 Tips For Quitting a Job Professionally and Maintaining Those Relationships

Quitting a job is never easy, but it’s the right choice sometimes. Considering 2.8% of all employees resigned in May of 2022, you’re not alone if you want to resign.

If you’ve decided leaving is right for you, you’ll need to handle the process gracefully. Doing so protects your reputation and allows you to tap into that network of ex-coworkers in the future.

Wondering how to quit your job? Here’s everything you need to know.

Tip 1: Make Sure It’s Really Time

Once you’ve formalized the decision to quit, you’re committed. Before making that leap, ensure you do in fact want to quit (and that it’s an appropriate time to do so).

If you’re still deciding, here are some reasons to quit a job right away:

  • You’re always exhausted and burnt out
  • You’re not growing
  • You’ve achieved what you set out to achieve
  • You aren’t valued
  • You’re incompatible with your boss or team
  • You hate your day-to-day

If none of these apply, but you’re still considering resigning, talk to a mentor or coach. They can help you weigh your options.

In terms of timing, consider your options after quitting a job. This includes:

  • If there are any other positions lined up
  • What type of position you want next
  • How you’ll manage financially during the transition
  • Any equity you have in the company and how that will be impacted by quitting 

Tip 2: Prepare For a Counter Offer

Counter offers are one way companies can entice you out of quitting a job. Employers often submit these counter offers within a week of your formal resignation. Counter offers may include:

  • Higher salary
  • Promotion
  • More flexibility
  • Better benefits

Counter offers work; 57% of employees accept them.

To prepare for a counter offer, you need to consider what it would take for you to stay at this company. Is it better benefits, higher pay, work from home, or would nothing make you want to stay? 

If you’re quitting for reasons related to poor work culture or environment, a counter offer can’t address that, so don’t be swayed.

Check out our guide if you’ve questions about counter offers.

Tip 3: Meet With Your Boss in Advance

Before handing in a resignation letter, give your boss a heads up. It’s the courteous thing to do, and it helps you maintain that relationship.

There’s no need to dive deep into your reasoning. Simply inform your boss that you plan to quit.

Tip 4: What to Say When Quitting a Job

Wondering what to say when quitting a job? Here are some tips.

Give a Timeline

Be clear about your last day, as this will help your boss plan.

Review your employment contract and figure out how much advanced notice you need to give. From there, decide when you’ll hand in your resignation and estimate your final day.

Be Direct

Don’t dance around the fact that you’re quitting. Although quitting a job may feel scary, you want to be confident and direct.

Offer Feedback

If you have any feedback, now’s the time to give it. Stay positive and don’t use this as a chance to trash the company. 

Instead, you can offer a brief explanation as to why you’re leaving. This gives your company a chance to improve.

Express Gratitude

Thank your boss for all you learned and the opportunities you had. Gratitude should underpin this entire process, whether you feel that way or not.

Ask for a Reference

Quitting a job means it’s time to look for others. References are an essential part of finalizing other job offers.

If you had a strong relationship with your boss, use this as a time to ask if they’d be willing to serve as a future reference.

Tip 5: Avoid Negativity

If you’re wondering how to quit your job, remember this: staying positive is always in your best interest. While constructive feedback has its place, negativity does not.

During the resignation process, focus on the good. If you’re going to mention areas the company could improve upon, do so gently. Here are some examples:

  • You’re an awful boss → Thank you for the opportunity to learn from you. For now, I want to pursue opportunities to learn from others.
  • Everyone hates working here → I’ve decided to leave because I’d like to work somewhere that allows me to prioritize work-life balance.
  • XYZ is entirely wrong at this company → While I think XYZ could be improved, I appreciate all I learned during my time here. I’d be happy to partake in an exit interview to help you understand my viewpoints better.

Tip 6: Hand in a Resignation Letter

Once you’ve spoken with your boss and given them a heads up, it’s time to submit a resignation letter.

Your letter should be upbeat and express gratitude. As with all parts of quitting a job, avoid negativity. You also want to leave out any negative feelings towards others, justification for quitting, and anything to do with salary.

We wrote an in-depth guide on writing resignation letters if you need more guidance.

Tip 7: Create a Smooth Transition

Quitting a job can leave your team in disarray. To avoid this, offer to help with the transition. Doing so leaves a positive lasting impression of you and is the right thing to do.

To facilitate a smooth transition, do the following:

  • Complete or hand off any outstanding projects
  • Offer to partake in an exit interview
  • Help train the new hire if one’s lined up
  • Ask the company what they need from you in your final weeks

Looking For Your Next Role?

Quitting a job is particularly daunting if you have nothing else lined up. Why not ease that burden?

If you’ve decided resignation is right for you but need help finding your next position, Jennings Executive can help. Our dedicated team has decades of experience matching talented employees with outstanding companies. Get in touch today!

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