We've all heard the phrase “don’t be a quitter”; however, quitting a job that's no longer the right fit for you is the best thing you can do for yourself and your future.
Here are some tips on how to quit confidently and gracefully while maintaining your professional contacts:
1. Have a plan for your next move.
The prospect of quitting can be anxiety-inducing because transitions can be intimidating. To lessen anxiety, have a vision and a plan to meet your future goals. Making yourself a plan for your next move or getting a job beforehand allows you the confidence and freedom to let go of your old job.
2. Define your reasons for quitting.
While you are not required to share your reasons for making your transition, it is essential you know them for yourself. Think about why you are quitting. There may be several reasons but be sure to define them for yourself. The act of writing them down allows you to gain clarity and to establish confidence in yourself for when you pull the trigger and finally quit.
3. Thank your direct boss and tell them first.
Before you even break the news to your boss or your manager, thank them for the opportunity to work under them and to learn from them. Even if your boss was difficult or you are super excited to move on to your next chapter, gratitude allows not only your boss to feel good about you but gives you a sense of closure for your time spent in your role. It’s important to acknowledge that even in the difficulties of your job, you learned and you grew, so have a heart of gratitude and to make your appreciation known. After you thank your boss for their time, give them notice of your decision to quit before you share your decision with other coworkers or colleagues. Letting your boss know first shows that you respect them and makes them feel like they are a priority rather than them finding out secondhand from someone else.
4. Give adequate notice of your departure.
Two weeks notice is typically the standard for letting an individual or company know about your desire to leave; however, keep in mind that the amount of notice varies depending on your organization. For certain industries, giving more notice to tie up loose ends is preferable because of “the busy season” in which companies really do suffer if they are understaffed and when companies need all hands on deck. To maintain a good rapport and reputation, it is important not to jump ship too soon. If you give ample notice and are able to prepare the organization for your departure, you will likely have a good reference for future jobs due to the consideration you showed for your former organization.
5. Keep the lines of communication open.
While you may want to leave your position as soon as possible, offering to assist in the transition is professional and looked upon highly and allows you not to burn any bridges. It demonstrates that you have concern for the future success of the company as well as for the person who will fill your shoes. Looking out for others is good for your own self-interest because by being mindful of managing the transition, you keep the lines of communication open and are allowing others to feel like they can reach out to you for future opportunities. If a better opportunity arises to return to the company down the road, you can still be considered for a position based on your positive, professional exit.