You’ve just heard back from one of the companies for which you interviewed. They have decided to extend you an offer for the job. Congratulations — that’s a big accomplishment!
After the initial excitement subsides, you may be asking yourself: how do I quit my current job? Leaving your current company can be stressful, especially because you will want to do everything you can to leave on good terms. What if your boss gets annoyed? What if my team feels let down?
In this guide, we’re going to discuss how to quit your job in a professional manner. We’ll walk you through the main steps to leave your current position on good terms and move on to the next stage in your career.
Are You Ready to Leave Your Job?
Quitting your job is a big decision. As soon as you quit, there’s no turning back, and there will be a lot of change ahead. You will need to get acquainted with the new company. You’ll need to be onboarded onto a new team, and your salary and benefits may change.
Before you hand in your two weeks notice, you should carefully consider if you are ready to leave your current position.
If you have been thinking about quitting because you don’t feel like your work is challenging enough, you may want to consider asking for a new assignment instead of quitting. Or if you feel like a coworker is bringing you down, you may want to ask to be moved to a different project rather than leaving your job entirely.
With that said, if you are ready to leave your job, then go ahead! Most people move between jobs at least a few times in their career. It is nothing to be ashamed of. If you feel like you need a new challenge or a new work environment, then moving on to another job could be a great way to help you grow and reach your goals.
How to Quit Your Job
So, you’ve decided that it’s the right time to quit your job. Great. The next step is to actually quit and inform your current employer of your intentions.
Step #1: Quit your job in-person
While writing a two weeks notice letter (sometimes called a resignation letter) is important, before you do so, you should announce your intention to quit in person.
By talking with your manager face to face about your intention to quit, you show that you are confident in your next move. In addition, talking with your manager in person will give them an opportunity to ask follow up questions, which they may want to ask to help them evaluate whether there’s anything they can do to keep you on the team.
Don’t just walk into your manager’s office and quit. Schedule a meeting and tell your manager that you would like to discuss moving on. This will reduce the chance that your manager is surprised by your intention to leave and will give them some time to prepare for your meeting.
Step #2: Hand in your two weeks notice
In most cases, people must give at least two weeks notice to an employer. This is likely stated in your contract of employment. However, if your contract demands a longer notice period, you will need to notify your employer of your intention to leave earlier.
To hand in your two weeks notice, you should write a letter that indicates that you are going to leave your job on a certain date. This will make it clear that you intend to leave, reducing any confusion regarding dates further down the line. You will also have a paper record of your intention to leave, which you may want to keep for future reference.
You can hand in your two weeks notice during your interview with your manager, or you can submit it after you have spoken with them directly.
Step #3: Share why you are leaving
You don’t have to share the reasons you are leaving your job if you don’t want to — it’s entirely up to you! However, if you want to leave on the best possible terms, it can be helpful to let your boss know why you have taken this decision.
Do you see no opportunities for career progression? Do you feel like you are in a rut? Have you been offered your dream job? Sharing this information with your employer can make them feel you have considered all your options before deciding to leave.
Step #4: Continue your job
Submitting your two weeks notice does not mean that you can now put your feet up and relax for the next two weeks. In your final weeks, you should continue your job as usual, and act as you would on any other day. This will protect your professional image while you transition to a new job.
If your coworkers remember that you worked hard during your last few weeks, they’ll be more likely to talk about you in a positive light. This may not seem important since you will no longer be working with them, but keep in mind that the more positive impressions you make during your career, the better.
Step #5: Help with the transition
Once you have informed your employer that you intend to leave, you should begin winding down your work.
The first step you should take is to discuss with your supervisor their plans to fill your position. Do they need to hire a replacement? Do they want you to train a colleague so that they can do your job?
You may be asked to train a replacement to help the company during this transition. If you are asked to train someone, you should accept the request. Training someone will help the rest of your team adjust to you not being there to support them.
Step #6: Inform your teammates
After you tell your manager that you are going to quit — which you should always do first, so they don’t hear the news through word-of-mouth — you should next inform your teammates.
Tell them how grateful you are for the opportunity to work with them. You may also want to share a few good memories of your time working together, and remind them that you will not forget the experiences you had on the job. You may also want to give them your contact information so that they can keep in touch.
Step #7: Participate in an exit interview
Many businesses ask that their employees go through an exit interview. This process is like an “offboarding” meeting where you will be asked about why you are leaving and will be informed about relevant company policy.
If you are asked to participate in an exit interview, you should make the time to do so as it doesn’t require any preparation.
During your exit interview, you want to avoid being too negative. Whatever your reasons to leave, you shouldn’t be too blunt. Speak honestly but try to maintain a positive tone. This will help you maintain a good relationship with the company, which can be important if you need a reference in the future.
Changing jobs is entirely normal. At some point, most people get bored of their job or want to move on to something that is more exciting, challenging, or educational. The problem is that leaving a job can sometimes be stressful.
To make the process as hassle-free as possible, make sure to do your homework: give your company a two weeks notice, offer to train your replacement, and share the news with your coworkers. You should also participate in an exit interview if you are asked to do so.
Adequately preparing for this important transition will allow you to make a positive impression on your employer as you start to wind down your work at your current job.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.