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How to Quit Your Job (the Right Way)

Quitting your job is a major turning point in your life. Rightfully so, it’s a stressful and exciting time. If you’ve found a new job opportunity that will better help you advance your career, support your family and promote your personal growth, it’s time to resign from your current position. But how can you quit in a polite and graceful way?

When it comes time to resign from your current job, the last thing you want to do is rush, burn bridges, or do it in an unprofessional manner. After all, the people you work with today may very well be the people you work with (or for) tomorrow.

Everyone’s time to leave comes eventually, and there’s certainly a right way to go. In this article, we’ll break down some important tips for quitting your job politely and professionally.

Quit for the right reasons

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Before you even consider accepting a new job opportunity, it’s important to make sure you’re quitting for the right reasons. If not, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment or regret down the road. Maybe you’ve found a new opportunity that is closer to home, or maybe you’ve found a role that is geared more toward your strengths.

Regardless of your reasoning, it’s a good idea to iron out your reasons for quitting in advance. That way, when the time comes, you’ll be sure of yourself and will be able to have an honest conversation with your boss.


Make sure you have another position lined up

chess pieces on board

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to leaving your current job is failing to line up your next position. You don’t want to rush this process. A gap of unemployed time on your resume does not look great, so make sure you have a new job secured before you even start the process of leaving your current role. You also don’t want to bank on a couple of weeks after you give notice – your employer has every right to ask you not to come back during those final weeks. Remember – finding a new job is never a guarantee regardless of how skilled or experienced you are. Always get that new position lined up before you quit.


Resign in person (if possible)

The most courteous and professional way to resign from your job is to do it in person. If you try to resign over email or phone, especially if you live in the same city, it will come across as disrespectful. Instead, book an in-person meeting with your supervisor so you can take the time to discuss your plans face-to-face.

If you’re a remote worker living in a different city or country, meeting in person probably isn’t expected. It’s great if you can, but the next best strategy for resigning would be to schedule a video call with your boss.


Write a resignation letter

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The resignation letter is one of the most important parts of quitting your job. Regardless of whether you’re quitting in person or not, you have to write a letter. It will be helpful to the HR department if print off a couple of copies – one for them and one for your supervisor. The purpose of an official resignation letter is to:

  • Let your employer know when you’re leaving
  • Express gratitude towards the company and the time you spent with them
  • Give the reason for your departure
  • Have everything in writing with a signature and date

Your resignation doesn’t need to be long-winded, but it should provide a clear reason for leaving among other details mentioned above. If you want to convey feelings of gratitude and respect for your employer, here are some tips for writing a great resignation letter.


Give time in advance

When resigning from a job, two weeks of notice is the standard. But that’s the minimum. Depending on your role at the company and how long you’ve been there, you want to offer yourself for an extra couple of weeks or even longer. By offering to help with the transition, you’ll garner respect amongst your colleagues and make the adjustment a little easier on them.

It’s also important to remember your employer doesn’t have to keep you around those final weeks. Maybe they feel the transition will be smoother without you there. So once you turn in your resignation letter, be ready to leave.


Be honest

Sitting at laptop with coffee

In both your in-person meeting and your resignation letter, be as honest as possible about your time with the company and the reason for leaving. Honesty will be appreciated, and show your respect for the company and your colleagues.

While trying to remain positive, reflect on your time with the company and show your gratitude. Then, provide the real reason (or reasons) you’re leaving – it may just be that you’ve found a better opportunity. Everyone can respect someone trying to further their career and better themselves. Finally, if you want to, leave some honest and professional suggestions about what could be done better at the company.


Share the news and thank people

shaking hands in boardroom

Once you’ve met face-to-face with your supervisor and submitted your official resignation letter, you’re free to inform your colleagues. There’s no need to make an announcement, management or HR will handle that at some point, but it’s a great idea to approach your coworkers individually. Especially the ones you were closest with, wish them well for the future and be sure to keep in touch.

Cherish the relationships you’ve made, and try your best to leave on a positive note.


If you’re looking for your next opportunity, check out our job board at STRIVE Recruitment. Since 2008, we’ve been filling roles in Accounting & Finance, Manufacturing & Operations, Corporate Administration, and more. Contact us today to speak with a recruiter.