How to Quit a Job Professionally: 5 Tips

At some point in your career, you might decide to quit your current job. It does not matter why you have decided to quit, quitting your job can be challenging. It is not easy to quit your job, even if you hate it, and cannot wait to start your new job. Even if your contract is about to be terminated, it can still be difficult to resign tactfully. If you have decided to quit your job, follow these 5 tips that could help you resign professionally and leave on good terms:

1. Explain why you are leaving. Although you are not required to share the reasons why you are resigning, it can help your supervisor and other top managers understand. The best approach is having a conversation with your HR manager. In some cases, s/he can arrange an exit interview, which is a good opportunity to provide feedback. Prepare in advance what you will say in this meeting to provide constructive feedback. If your HR manager does not schedule an exit interview, you should reach out to her/him to provide feedback and explain the reasons you are leaving.

2. Consider all your options. If you already have a job offer, consider the pros and cons of the new position by contrasting it to your current position. Think of the work environment, flexibility, salary, benefits, responsibilities as well as professional growth opportunities. If the new job seems better based on all the criteria, do not hesitate to take it. If you are still hesitating whether to take the new position, ask if you can spend a day in the office where you can “shadow” the staff. This might help you decide whether to take the position. 

3. Give at least 2 weeks’ notice. The standard practice is to give your employer 2 weeks’ notice. If you are managing 1 or 2 projects individually, 2 weeks’ notice is appropriate. However, if you are managing many ‘high-impact projects’, an earlier announcement will give your team more time to prepare for your exit and find a replacement. If you notify your manager as early as possible, it will leave a better impression, as they will appreciate having more time to build a plan for your absence. Your resignation letter should be short: only mention the fact that you are resigning, the last day of your work and a brief statement of appreciation for the work opportunity.  

4. Be grateful. It is important to communicate gratitude in your resignation announcement. If you are overwhelmed by negative emotions towards your employer and being grateful seems impossible, it is recommended doing a thought exercise. You need to think of the first interview for the job, and how badly you wanted it. You should also reflect on the people you have worked with, the relationships you have built over the years and your biggest achievements. It has been observed that managers respond more positively to resignations when an employee expresses gratitude in their exit interviews or resignation letters.

5. Update your LinkedIn profile. You should do this while you are still employed and you can still vividly remember all your accomplishments, skills and projects. Not many people will assume that you are job hunting if they see your profile updates because being active on LinkedIn shows that you are a tech savvy employee. If you still want to avoid unnecessary questions, LinkedIn allows you to update your profile without notifying your network. Once you have updated your profile, join groups that are related to your current and new job and reach out to recruiters who work in your industry.

References: | Alison Doyle, | Clifford Chi, | | Charley Mendoza,