Quitting Your Job: The Right Way

Talking about quitting your job is easy, but actually quitting the right way takes a little bit of preparatory work. There are many reasons why you may wish to quit a job. Often you want to pursue another opportunity. However, if you’ve been with your present employer for a while, many emotions may be involved in the move.

There are plenty of things that may make you want to leave your job. Poor pay, boring work, or difficult work situations can be strong motivators to quit your job. These days many employees quit because they’re expecting another round of layoffs and they want to leave on their own terms.

Promotion and wage freezes are also common reasons for quitting jobs. You may find yourself in a job you love, but you’re surrounded by people you hate working with. Alternatively, you may find yourself in a job you hate, but you’ve stuck around for a long time because you liked some of the people you were working with at one time. Whatever your reason for quitting, it is important to carefully consider how you want to quit your job.

It isn’t so important why you want to quit. What is important is how you quit. When you decide to quit a job, you need to think about how you want to go about the resignation process.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to simply quit coming to work. This is effective, but it could sabotage the rest of your career. A similar mistake is to announce that you quit in a fit of anger as you walk off the job. Future employers will not know whether you had a good reason to quit, but they may find out how you quit. Employees who leave in a way that could be disruptive of business are not highly sought after.

Employees are expected to work in the best interests of the employer throughout their terms of employment. If your last moment of employment is leaving the company in a bad situation, you can expect a reputation for doing so to follow you for the rest of your life.

Quitting Your Job

The higher up you get in the company or the more vital you are individually too the company, the greater the expectation that you will give the company notice and time to make a proper transition to a replacement employee or the implementation of new systems to deal with your absence. This will lead to better recommendations of you to future employers, even if you were not otherwise considered a good employee. Leaving the right way means that at least you were a professional, even when things weren’t working out for you at a particularly company.


Quitting a job can be a stressful life event, so do what you can to minimize the amount of stress you’ll face. In other words, have a plan about how you are going to quit your job. The more angry the tone of your resignation, the more brief your letter of resignation should be. If you’re leaving on good terms, it may be appropriate to state how you’ve enjoyed the opportunity given to you. If you’re unhappy, simply let the employer know that you’re leaving and give the date of your final work day.

Sign your letter of resignation and turn it in to your boss. Verbally state what the letter is about and be willing to discuss your resignation before leaving. Have a clear idea of talking points in your head in case you are asked why you’re resigning. Keep your talking points as constructive as possible. When you talk about yourself, instead of complaining, frame things as you looking for opportunities more suitable to your needs and goals.

Think ahead of time about how you will respond if the employer offers to work with you to fix whatever talking points you bring up at the time of resignation. If you are a valued employee, you will often get this as you are resigning. However, it is just as common that you are given a cold goodbye. Be a bit wary if you’re offered fixes or a raise, as an employer will often just do these things temporarily until someone else qualified comes along to take your place. This gives your boss the opportunity to terminate you on his terms and at a time of his choosing. So you have to think clearly about whether your boss is the type of person to do this kind of thing.

There are times when a sincere boss will actually be shocked by your reasons for leaving. Sometimes the work environment is not understood by supervisors. When their better employees start complaining or leaving, they may re-examine the situation and actually begin fixing things. Whether or not you wish to accept an offer to continue working with the company has to be based on how much you trust your bosses and whether or not you believe the proposed fixes are satisfactory.

There may be times when the employer will quietly accept your resignation and then try to entice you back later. You need to carefully consider your reasons for leaving if you find yourself enticed. On the one hand, it shows the employer finds you difficult to replace. On the other hand, the employer will remember your lack of loyalty when it comes time to make future personnel decisions.

So make sure you follow a plan for quitting your job. Know why you are quitting and be prepared to say so. If at all possible, give the employer time to prepare for your departure and leave on as good of terms as possible. Be prepared in case an offer is made to fix things or to improve your pay.