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How to Quit Your Job the Right Way

August 7, 2017

how to quit your job

Quitting your job the right way results in your former managers and co-workers provide you with glowing reviews to anyone who asks. Quitting your job the wrong way, won’t.

Thousands of people quit their job every day and, in the United States, people were quitting their job at the fastest pace in 16 years back in January and, according to the June 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics Turnover Report, this 2.2 national average turnover rate is unchanged. 

You could say it’s a quitter’s market:

Quitters get a bad wrap, but there’s nothing wrong with quitting a job.

For many people, the idea of doing their current job, or any job, for the next 5, 10 or 15 years might seem like a daunting prospect, especially if:

  • You, like 52% of people who quit their jobs, have a “bad boss.”
  • You aren’t engaged by the work you do.
  • You know that you aren’t paid enough for the work you do.
  • You don’t feel “fit” with your co-workers and/or the company’s culture and/or ethics.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start the process of quitting your job the right way.

How to Quit Your Job the Right Way

Besides helping your team to have a smooth transition with your resignation, quitting your job the right way means setting yourself up for a great new job.

Set Yourself Up for Your Next Job

Maybe you want to take an extended vacation, but finding a job is much easier when you are already employed or have only recently left a job, as your most recent work is in “real time” as opposed to from 6 months ago before your tour of Europe and the release of a new industry-standard tool.

As much as you may want to quit now, it’s in your interest to stay put until you can find a good job to replace your current job. Once you do find a suitable replacement job, with the reference of a current manager in the best-case scenario, you’ll be able to quit as soon as you’ve completed the work that you have left to do for your current employer. Getting a good reference from your superiors will depend, in part, on the work you do all the way up to the “finish line,” and “walking it in” is not advised.

CYA: Covering Your Assets

No matter why you’re deciding to quit your job, you need to CYA: Cover Your Assets.

Getting the job you want will depend, in part, on the references you get from the job you’re quitting, so you should always be on good terms with co-workers and managers before you quit. These people are your assets: the managers, owners and co-workers who can provide you with excellent references for your next job.

What won’t leave you on good terms with your team, is leaving them with a whole bunch of work that you didn’t feel like doing before walking out the door. If you don’t think that the standard 2 weeks will be enough to complete your work, then consider sticking things out a little longer for the sake of your teammates and the glowing reviews they will give you.

If you cannot stick around for long enough to complete your share of a large project, then giving your team as much notice as possible is the right move on your part. If you put in hard work until the end of your gainful employment,  then your team members and managers will recommend you positively when you use them as references or when they use you as a referral for a future job opening at their next employer.

Plan of Action

Landing your next job will be much easier if you have a positive reference from your current job.

Not every manager will be thrilled to help you find a new job so, if it’s possible, seek out a manager who you have a good relationship with and who you’ve talked with about the next step in your career. This person will be your biggest asset for finding a great new job and having a smooth transition to that job, and being transparent with them will go a long way toward getting the job you want.

Here are the steps that make up your plan of action for quitting your job the right way:

  • Talk to a sympathetic manager who you have discussed your career with about providing you with a reference for your next job.
  • Make a plan with this manager for completing a significant amount of work before leaving your current job.
  • Seek out jobs that meet your needs and that you find interesting.
  • Apply for and interview at jobs while maintaining excellent productivity levels at your current job.
  • Accept a job that is right for you on the condition that you can start on the time-table you’ve set up with your manager.
  • Complete the work you’ve promised to do for your current employer.
  • Quit your job without burning any bridges or tarnishing any professional relationships.
VP of Marketing at Digital Astronauts

Ronny Cheng is one of the Co-Founder’s of Digital Astronauts and has helped drive lead generation in the software industry for organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. He helped build one of the first online software review websites, specializing in CRM, ERP, and HR software. He’s a nationally published author with extensive experience working with the HR/Recruiting industries largest brands. In his spare time, you can catch him on Instagram doing his best food blogger impersonation.

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