How you quit your job can impact your work relationships, particularly your relationships with direct managers. This article discusses how to quit so that you’ll have the best chance of keeping strong relationships.

The Consequences of Quitting the Wrong Way

Quitting abruptly, unexpectedly or in a rude way should never be your preferred option. Leaving your job like this can have consequences for you. It can damage your reputation, your career or the strength of your network. It can also make it difficult to get a reference when you apply for jobs in the future.

Respect is really important as an employee. If your employer has taken time to interview you, train you in new skills, introduce you to their valuable network and/or provide you with the tools for work, then you should honor that by being respectful when you leave.

How to Quit the Right Way

1) Don’t take a job that won’t work for you

If the office is too far away, or the salary is below your expectations, or you’re unlikely to be able to work in the company’s culture, maybe it’s best not to take the role in the first place.

To help you make the right choices, you should make sure you study the company and the job carefully. Ask as many necessary questions as you need during and after the interview. Take as much time and effort needed to deeply understand the role you are going to take and see it you’re a good fit for the role.

You should also have a clear idea of your personal situation. You don’t need to tell the employer everything about your personal life. However, if you feel that your circumstances will affect the work, this should be communicated. For instance, if you have plans to travel but you have will need to start the job just before that, you should talk openly with your employer.

2) Understand the implications of your decision

Before you quit, you should go back to your employment agreement, and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions, and how they might apply when you announce your resignation. Consider items like your notice period and your eligibility for payment of pay, bonus or benefits.

3) Discuss your decision with your boss

Sometimes you may not know exactly what to do when you announce your decision to your boss. If you start with good intentions, want the best for the company and communicate openly with your employer, it will generally work out best for you.

You need to discuss your decision with your boss. Of course, employers are rarely excited to learn their staff wants to leave. However, it’s better that they hear your intentions from you first, rather than your coworkers.

When you discuss your decision to resign, you should consider how you will handle the notice period and the handover for the staff member who will take on your responsibilities. Showing that you’ve thought about this should help to reassure your employer.

You will often need a formal announcement of your resignation (for example, a resignation letter). You should prepare this in advance, or be prepared to follow up your discussion with a formal announcement.

Offering feedback to your employer can be controversial. There are definitely some types of feedback that can be difficult to discuss (particularly when the feedback concerns your boss). However, constructive feedback may be appreciated. You should try to identify useful feedback before you begin the discussion with your manager.

4) Finish the job as promised

After you’ve announced your decision to leave, there is still some items that will need to be done. You should:

  • Offer to help with finding a replacement, if you can help.
  • Finish the hand-over as you’ve committed.
  • Hand back any company property.
  • Leave a thank you note and ask for a reference.
  • Finally, don’t talk badly about your company after you leave.

If you follow these steps, you should leave a positive impression and this will potentially benefit your reference check result later. This will be important for your career.