How To Quit Your Job

How to quit your job. Submitting your resignation can be a gutsy move. When you resign, do it professionally, without apologizing or burning bridges.

Quitting your job means two things. First, you are ending a business relationship. Secondly, you are quitting, not bargaining. Let's explore each one of these.

Despite the friendships and camaraderie (or antipathy, for that matter) you may have developed at your current job, you are still ending a business relationship. For that reason, you need to quit in writing. Even if you're leaving a job flipping burgers, crafting a resignation letter will make you look more professional. If anything, it gives you good practice.

Your letter should be in business format, and it should include the following items:

* your intent to leave

* the date on which you will leave

* the date on which you are submitting the letter

* your signature

That's it. You don't need to apologize, say thank you, or explain why you're leaving. All that needs to go in your personnel file is the bare facts.

Your letter may end up being quite sparse, and that's okay. While you do need to address the letter to an individual, the real recipient of it is the business.

Here's an example of a resignation letter:

Jane Doe

1234 Main Street

Anytown, USA


Human Resources

The Company

1234 Big Business Street

Anytown, USA

[Date you submit]

Human Resources Manager:

This letter is to inform you that I am resigning my position as [Position Title] with [Employer Name]. My last day will be [Date of last day].


Jane Doe

Whoah, the address takes up more room on the page than the resignation itself. Make sure that your effective date is at least two weeks from the date you turn it in. Longer if you've signed a contract with a specified time. Resist the urge to pad and apologize. Put the letter in an envelope, addressed with the name, title, and department of the appropriate person. Place a copy of it with your personal papers. You are ready to handle the niceties in person, where it counts.

Be sure to hand over your letter to the appropriate individual in person. You want to be up front about what you're doing. On a differently practical level, you want to make sure that she receives it. Tell the individual that the letter is time sensitive, and that you will be available for the remainder of the day to discuss its contents. Be available.

Different companies and people react differently to resignations. Depending on your job and your relationships, some companies will escort you out the door. Others will try to tempt you to stay by offering more money, promotions, lateral transfers, and so forth. If you are escorted out, so be it. It doesn't mean that you've done anything wrong or ruined your relationship; it just means that's how they do business. Turn down offers. They seem attractive in the short term, but few people who rescind their resignations are happy.

Some companies will ask you to perform an exit interview. Avoid criticizing your employer or harping on suggestions you've offered in the past. In a sense, you are no longer responsible for anything other than wrapping up your work. In your absence, criticisms you make may be misinterpreted, and you can end up accidentally burning bridges.

When pressed, say that you think you've found an opportunity that fits you better. Don't gloat over a new salary or benefits package. Don't bad mouth the place you're leaving. Do enjoy going out to that farewell lunch or party with your coworkers. Be generous with information about your job, projects, and responsibilities on your way out. One of your goals of leaving is not just to make it smooth for you, but also for the place you are leaving.

Finally, after you've left, continue to maintain your personal relationships. Don't push too much for work gossip; you aren't a part of that pack anymore. Do let people know that your life is all right and that you think of them.

About those thank-you's that you were tempted to put in your resignation letter? Write them now. Thank the personnel department for any assistance with exit paperwork. Thank your old boss or supervisor for easing your transition""even if they didn't. If appropriate, pass business their way, and make sure they know who it came from.

If you stick to these guidelines, you'll end up leaving a job. But you won't end up stepping on toes, offending people, or cutting off a part of your life.

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