Leaving a job is a bit like a revolution: It can be a time of real excitement and real sadness, it can also be your finest hour or your biggest stumble depending on how you handle it. Let us help you figure out how to quit your job the right way!
When you are deciding how to make the big announcement look at your boss and bear in mind that your future career prospects could depend on their references and recommendations. It’s best not to upset them any more than necessary. The name of the game is to be prepared and be careful:
Timing: The earlier, the better
- Tell your boss well in advance of your leaving date, preferably as soon as you know yourself.
- Don’t spring your grand depart on your boss. The dramatic exit only works in films and rock concerts, not in the everyday career.
- On the same theme – definitely, definitely don’t storm out, no matter how much you hate your job or how sure you are that you have something else lined up. This will leave a stain on your career history that can take years to clean up.
- The best plan is to tell your boss as far in advance as possible. As soon as you decide to leave, tell them that. As soon as you have a date, let them know it.
Preparation: The more, the better
- Clearing the way for an easy exit will make life easier for you and your employer.
- Make the end of your employment as easy as possible for you and your employer by tying off loose ends and bringing projects to an end.
- Arrange to make your ongoing responsibilities easy to transfer. Prepare the way for whoever will fill your space.
- Decide how to tell your colleagues, staff, clients and any other interested parties that someone else will be taking over your post, but always tell your boss and employer first.
- If you decide to leave a job quickly for whatever reason, work the notice period to avoid another black mark on your CV.
Telling: The friendlier, the better
- Always try to leave on good terms.
- Remember the advice above – be prepared and tell in advance.
- Get straight to the point. Few bosses appreciate having their time wasted while you mutter.
- Let your boss know exactly when, where and why you are going as well as how you will make the transfer (see above).
- Be positive but honest about the organisation and your experience. Tell your boss what you’ve gained from the role and what you’ve enjoyed, but also let them know if there were any issues.
- Following on from above – give constructive feedback.
- Not all exits are friendly, but try to leave on a high.