Quitting a job may be among the hardest things you will have to do in your career.
Even if you are sure it’s the right decision to move on, and you aren’t going to miss your commute, your desk, or the snore-fests they call meetings, there are a lot of things to consider when you’re quitting.
Quitting a job in the wrong way can impact you negatively in terms of both your career and your life, so it’s important to consider all aspects of making your career transition, even if all you want to do is throw your desk and storm out of your office.
So how do you quit in a way that helps you grow in your career, instead of feeling like you’re recovering from a trauma?
Thinking About When To Quit
Many times people struggle for a long time with whether or not to quit a job they feel bored, stressed, or unfulfilled by.
Those worries often involve wondering if they have good cause for quitting a job, being worried about quitting a job without another one, or leaving a job without knowing what they want to do next.
Without answers to these questions, it feels like the only option is to stay put.
However, you can figure out what to do next and find a new job doing it.
Although that is a big topic, there are many resources on this blog that will help guide you toward those answers.
Never, Ever Do These When Quitting A Job
1. Don’t Burn Bridges
No matter how sure you are that you’re never going back to where you are working now, don’t do anything you’ll regret. After you’ve given your notice, finish out your days there with enthusiasm and in a way that will make you feel great. Always be professional, and be sure to maintain your relationships. Your network is one of your most valuable career assets. Keep the relationships you have, and build new ones in your new place of work.
2. Don’t Lose Focus:
Coming in late, leaving early, and taking two-hour lunch breaks can be tempting, but they are all signs of a bad attitude. It can be hard to focus with one foot out the door, but continuing to do the best work you can will help you feel better about yourself and keep your positive image intact.
Your co-workers will be glad to not have to pick up additional work while you’re still there and will appreciate your attention to detail as you wrap up and hand off projects.
3. Don’t Miss Seeing That It’s Time To Move On:
Suze Orman talks about knowing that it was time to move on from her time at CNBC in her article, and points out that if you stay on beyond the time that you should you’ll likely end up leaving not “on your own terms.”
It’s true that it’s incredibly hard to be a great employee in a situation that isn’t working. Your reasons for quitting a job might be anything from feeling undervalued, to feeling like you’ve met all the challenges that the particular job can offer, to simply feeling like it’s a mis-match between the job and what you really would like to be doing.
Whatever the reason, if yours isn’t working for you, come to terms with that fact and set yourself up in a situation where you can be successful and happy. There are other, better opportunities out there for you.
4. Don’t Quit Without Giving Notice
Quitting a job without notice is a sure way to burn bridges with your manager and co-workers, who are all left to pick up the pieces after your departure. It’s something you should never do except in the most extreme circumstances.
5. Don’t Forget That You’re a Professional
As much as you may want to, telling someone – your boss or your co-worker – exactly what you think of them is probably not a good idea. Yes, in the near term you might feel better for being able to get some things off your chest. But in the long run, the only thing that this can do is damage your career.
People will likely remember your behavior, and it is quite possible that will matter in the future. You might need a reference, you might end up working with someone again, or your reputation might precede you into a new work situation. Whether or not the chances are high, it’s safer for your career to find another way to vent your anger.
The Best Way to Quit Your Job
Now you know some of what you shouldn’t do when you’re quitting your job. But what should you do?
It’s not just about writing a good resignation letter and a graceful and seamless exit. If you’re serious about quitting your job, you need to figure out how to prepare your career and your life for that. But how?