If only ditching a job were as easy as screaming “I quit!” in your boss’ face and walking out the office in a huff with your heels clicking melodiously on the wooden floor.
Sadly, that only happens in movies. In real life, the dread of even handing in your resignation letter can take this task to a whole new level. Here’s how you can ditch that dreaded job in the most professional and gracious way.
Check Your Freedom Fund
Freedom from the dreaded job, yes! But quitting your job means no more monthly salary. That’s why you need a freedom fund set up for moments like this. Let’s call it your emergency fund or safety net. This is money you can spend when you lose or quit a job. You should have enough saved to cover three or four months without a job if you’re looking for a replacement. Otherwise, keep putting money in for the next time you will need it.
Give Enough Notice
If you’re planning on leaving soon, don’t hand in your resignation letter three months in advance. But don’t hand it in with less than two weeks to go, either.
The safest and most acceptable notice period is around 2 to 3 weeks. If it is any longer than that, you risk being excluded in company events or meetings because your colleagues know you will be leaving anyway. Give ample notice. Failure to do so is just bad form and extremely unprofessional.
Always Tell Your Boss First
Don’t let your boss hear it from anyone else. They deserve the respect and professional courtesy of knowing first, even if you don’t always see eye to eye.
Don’t send an email, either. Do it in person. It makes a better impression and indicates self-confidence. Don’t make up stories about moving to a different country to eat, pray, and love. Just tell the real but concise reason you’re leaving. You’re not obligated to explain yourself.
Avoid Emotional Outbursts or Hysterics
You have very strong feelings why you’re leaving your job. Your boss does not need to know all of them. They’re still your boss, and they will be the first people your next employer will be contacting as your professional reference.
Don’t do or say anything you might regret or that might damage your reputation. Remember that your current colleagues and bosses can be your future clients and customers. Don’t let bad behavior lose you a strong and important professional contact.
Don’t talk badly about your previous job or the previous boss, either offline or online. What goes around comes around, and when it does, it can be real messy for you.
Finish with a bang. Leave colleagues with something positive and unforgettable that will truly make a lasting impression.
Your ex-colleagues and former bosses can help you move your career forward. This could be in the form of a commendation, a recommendation, or a vote of confidence.
Express your gratitude for the opportunity, the trust, the good years, the guidance, and the lessons learned. Wish them the best of luck in all their future endeavors.