How to Quit a Job (The Professional Way) – CV Nation

How to Quit a Job

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The complete resource on quitting a job, with examples, a step-by-step guide and sample resignation letters.

Many people quit their job at some point during the course of their career. But there is a right and wrong way of quitting your job. Following professional practices when telling your boss that you’re leaving will ensure you don’t open the door to negative implications.

If you quit your job in the wrong way, you may burn bridges, miss out on positive references and cause tension with your boss.

In this guide, we’ll should you how to quit your job the right way.

It's OK to Quit Your Job

Many people worry about quitting a job. Will your manager be angry with you? Will your boss be disappointed? These are questions that many professionals ask themselves when contemplating quitting their job.

But the fact is, it’s perfectly fine to quit your job. People all over the world quit their job every day, for various reasons.

So, it’s a good idea to approach the task of quitting a job with a positive mindset. If you’ve reached a decision to quit your job, you should remember that it’s completely acceptable to do so.

How To Quit A Job

1. Make Sure You Really Want to Quit

Quitting a job is a big deal. As such, you need to make sure you’re ready to make such a significant decision that could have a major impact on your life.

Ask yourself why you’re quitting your job and avoid making impulsive decisions. Mull over the advantages and disadvantages of quitting.

Are there problems in your job that could be resolved by speaking with your manager? Or is leaving your job simply the best path for you at this moment in time?

Common reasons for quitting your job include:

- You feel like you’re in the wrong industry or profession

- You feel you’re not making progress in your career

- Your job is having a negative impact on your mental health

- You’re moving to a new area

You should also make sure it’s the right time to quit your job. Do you have another job lined up? Are you able to support yourself financially until you find a new job? If not, you may want to wait until you have found a new job.

2. Tell Your Boss

The next step is to tell your boss that you’re quitting your job. Be courteous, professional and straight-forward. Don’t beat around the bush. Tell your boss that you are quitting.

What would this sound like? Here is an example:

‘While I’ve enjoyed working here and appreciate the support I’ve received from you as my boss, I have decided to give my notice and move onto a new chapter in my career’.

Ideally, you should give your employer at least two weeks’ notice. Your contract may specify exactly how much notice you are required to give, but two weeks’ notice is usually sufficient. Give your notice as soon as you have made the decision to quit. This will enable your boss to find a replacement for your position, if required.

Failing to give notice when quitting your job can upset your boss and burn bridges, which is exactly what you should be looking to avoid.

3. Prepare a Resignation Letter

After you’ve told your boss that you are quitting your job, submit a professionally written resignation letter.

Here is an example resignation letter:

Resignation letter

4. Arrange an Exit Interview

Once you have given your notice, the HR department may set up an exit interview with you. If they don’t consider requesting one.

Exit interviews give HR insight into the employee experience. These interviews also give you the opportunity to raise any issues that may have caused you to quit.

However, it’s important to avoid focusing on petty disputes or bad-mouthing members of staff. This could cause issues in the future. It simply isn't worth raking up such issues.

Instead, provide useful feedback on your experience as an employee.

After You’ve Given Your Notice

After you’ve given your notice, you will probably have at least two more weeks of employment left. During this period, be professional and don’t let your performance levels drop.

Remember, you may need references from your employer in the future and you don’t want to burn any bridges.

If you can help the transition process run more smoothly, be sure to do so. For example, there may be tasks or projects that you can complete before leaving.

What Should You Say When Asked About Reasons for Quitting?

What should you say if your boss asks why you’re quitting your job? Should you be honest or should you be vague?

The fact is, being completely honest in this situation can upset your boss, depending on your reason for leaving. For example, if you’re quitting your job because you dislike your boss’s attitude, you probably wouldn’t want to be upfront about this. It would cause tension and you may burn bridges with your boss.

Instead, you could give a vague answer that doesn’t offend. Here is an example:

‘I’ve decided to quit because I found a job at a company that I feel my values are aligned with’.

Should You Have Another Job Lined Up?

Of course, the best time to quit a job is when you have another job lined up.

However, life isn’t always so simple. Sometimes, quitting is essential.

If a job is negatively affecting your health, whether mental or physical, you should certainly consider quitting, even without another job lined up.

However, when contemplating quitting your job, it’s important to weigh up he financial implications of the decision. If you are not in a great position financially, consider how you would support yourself while seeking a new job.

We hope you’ve found this guide to quitting a job helpful. When quitting your job, you’ll likely need a good CV to help you land a new role. Feel free to view our free guide to writing a powerful CV.

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