Thinking about quitting your job? Quitting a job gracefully is not just about avoiding burning bridges with your employer; it also has a huge impact on the future of your career.
Do You Really Want To Quit?
Before you quit, seriously introspect on the source of your career unhappiness. It could save you from years of boredom and misery. Otherwise, you may find that your new job is just as unfulfilling and end up right back where you started. If you don’t yet have another job lined up, are you financially able to support yourself while you hunt for another one? It can be very tempting to bolt when things aren’t going well at work, but make sure you’ve put a lot of thought into whether this is truly quit-worthy, and that your overall well-being is served by leaving the position.
Can You Fix The Problem First?
Again, impulse quitting can be a very appealing option. Ask yourself questions like, “Is this situation likely to resolve soon if I don’t quit?” and “Are there any steps I can take to fix the situation without drastic measures?” If possible, talk things over with your supervisor. Let him or her know that you’re not happy with the way things are going, and you’d like to find a way to resolve that. There may be options available that you’re not aware of in the moment, when everything seems awful.
Give Adequate Notice
Once you’ve decided to resign, the first person you should tell is your manager. Beleive me you don’t want your boss to hear the news from anyone else. If quitting is indeed the way to go (or you’ve got a better opportunity lined up), make sure you give an appropriate amount of notice. In most cases, that’s about two weeks. Your company may have a different policy, though, so double check with your HR department if possible. If you’re breaking the news to your boss in person, make sure you follow up the conversation with a professional email that outlines your resignation and your end date.
Make The Transition Smooth
Finish off as many of your tasks as you possibly can before you leave, and if possible, leave instructions for the person filling in for you. If you manage a team, give them proper instructions as to what is expected of them even in your absence. Have a discussion with your boss on how to handle important and confidential details like passwords or codes and whom to pass it on to. If your successor takes charge before you leave, train him/her to help make the transition smooth. Again, all this reflects your professionalism.
Don’t Burn Bridges
The most important part of all: be gracious on your way out the door, regardless of the circumstances. This is especially true if you’re staying in the same field. You never know where and when you might end up working with the individuals in the future. A little graciousness lets you leave your current situation and enter your new one without baggage. You have your whole career ahead of you, and you need to be diplomatic to survive the storm.