Today’s job economy isn’t the greatest, so if you are fortunate enough to find a better opportunity and leave the job you currently have, you should consider yourself one of the lucky ones. While leaving your job to move on to bigger and better things can be an exciting process, knowing how and when to quit can be stressful. The ideal choice would be to put in your two weeks notice, but knowing how to go about this the right way can be a challenge. This easy step by step guide will help you make the right decisions when it comes to leaving your current place of employment and also help you avoid any mistakes.
1.) Give Plenty Of Notice
There is nothing worse than leaving an employer in the spur of the moment. Never just up and quit a job or surprise your employer by quitting. If you know ahead of time that a better opportunity has come along and you will be taking the job, let your boss know sooner rather than later. The rule of thumb is to give at least two weeks notice before departing. If you know earlier than this you can also inform your boss then. Giving your boss a head’s up will allow them to start looking for potential candidates to fill your position once you’re gone and will make the transition process a lot easier for all parties involved.
2.) Talk To Your Boss Before Handing In Your Letter
If you don’t want your boss to make your life miserable the last two weeks of your job then let him or her know that you will be handing in your letter of resignation soon. This will help reduce any shock or hard feelings and will also showcase your professionalism to your current employer, who could become a reference to future employers. The last thing you want to do is burn that bridge and ruin your chances of getting a good reference from them in the future, especially if you have worked there for a long time.
3.) Be Respectful, Professional, And Pay Compliments
When it comes time to break the bad news, it never hurts to pay your current employer a compliment. Reflecting on some of the good experiences you have had with the company or things you enjoyed about your role are always good ways to break the ice. Remember to be respectful and professional, but try not to over do it. You don’t want to come off as trying too hard, or being fake. You want your compliments to come off as genuine.
4.) Make Things Official
Never rely simply on a verbal contract to be the final word when it comes to leaving your place of work. This is one of the easiest ways to get burned later on. Instead, check with your current employer to see what steps you need to take next to get all of your ducks in a row. Check your current employer’s policies and procedures for advice about submitting your written resignation.
5.) Submit Your Written Resignation
Take the time to sit down and write a professional written letter of resignation and be sure to give at least two weeks notice when doing so. If you aren’t quite sure how to write a letter of resignation just remember to keep things simple and professional. There are also plenty of templates offered online for helping individuals with this challenging task. When writing your letter be sure to give your reason for leaving but avoid airing any frustrations you may have. It can seem easy to want to speak candidly in the heat of the moment, but avoid this at all costs as it will only make your employer angry and possibly make them retaliate or give you a bad reference in the future. Try to keep things short and sweet. Give a professional reason for leaving but try to put a positive spin on things. Thank them for the opportunity to work with them and pay them a compliment or two, then sign off in a professional manner. This is the best way to go about things.
6.) Help Recruit New Employees/Tie Up Any Loose Ends
Once you have submitted your two weeks notice, ask your boss if there is anything you can do to help make the transition period run more smoothly. Are there any loose ends you need to tie up? Maybe you could help spread the word about your departure to try and find a replacement. Doing these things will not only help soften the blow, it will also help them figure out what steps to take next. Any respectable employer will appreciate the fact that you didn’t just leave them with a ton of extra work. Furthermore, helping your employer find a replacement or referring somebody who you can rely on and you know would do a great job will show your commitment to the company.
7.) Don’t Slack Off
While it might seem easy to do knowing that you are about to quit, try not to slack off during your last two weeks. Stay on task and tie up any loose ends. Work harder than ever and go out with a bang. This will make you more memorable and show that you really care about your job, your employer, and your commitment to the company. It also shows them that you have good work ethic and will better your chances of them giving you a good job reference in the future or possibly even rehiring you in the future should you ever decide you’d like to come back to the company later if things don’t work out elsewhere.
8.) Break The News On A Friday
Telling your boss of your intentions to quit soon is best done on a Friday. People are generally in a better mood with it being the end of the work week, and doing so also gives you both the chance to relax over the weekend after discussing your departure. It gives both parties a chance to process everything and regroup the following work week.
9.) Quit On A Friday
In addition to breaking the news on a Friday, it is also ideal if your last day of work falls on a Friday. This gives everyone a sense of closure and makes things less hectic for the company since its the end of the work week. There is nothing worse than an employee’s last day falling on a Monday, which usually ends up being the busiest day of the week. The last thing you want is to quit and have the company fall behind or have to pick up the slack if they haven’t found a replacement for you yet.
10.) Keep A Positive Attitude
While you may have a few horror stories or complaints about your current employer, once they become your former employer it is still important to put a positive spin on things and not bad mouth them to your new employer. This will show that you are professional and respectful. Even if the company is angry that you left and tries to retaliate or bad mouth you once you have quit, don’t fall into that trap. By showing that you are professional and mature enough to be the bigger person will only impress others and if anything make your former employer seem less credible, in the end, making you look like a saint.