Walking Away With Grace: 4 Tips For Quitting Your Job


The time has come to cut the cord with your job.

You might have been working there for a short period of time and realized that it just wasn’t for you, or you might be wanting a change after working there since graduation.

Whether you’ve been there for 1 month or 1 year, part-time or full-time, you know it’s your time to go and therefore time for a potentially awkward situation.

It’s ok to be nervous. Handing in your resignation for the first time is another cautious step into the unknown and can be nerve wracking. It might soothe your nerves, though, to remember that this probably isn’t the first time that an employer has had someone hand in their resignation (unless perhaps it’s a freshly-hatched company).

Here are some tips for leaving your job gracefully.

1. Watch your mouth

The first person you tell about your pending departure should be your boss.

It would be disrespectful for them to hear it from anybody else. Prioritize telling your boss in-person – do not resign by email if you can avoid it.

2. Two weeks notice: workplace myth or professional courtesy?

While handing in your two weeks notice isn’t the law, it is an accepted protocol when quitting.

Two weeks notice can give you time to finish up any projects you were in the middle of, or leave them in a state that is tidy enough for your replacement to pick up where you left off.

If you signed a contract when you started at your job then it’s probably a good idea to check to see if you’re required to give a certain amount of notice.

3. Remember, you’re replaceable (sorry)

Try not to feel guilty when you hand in your resignation.

The company will be able to survive without you. An unwarranted guilty conscience might make you hostile or defensive as time passes, or compel you to take on more work than you can handle in your final weeks.

4. Exchange a thank-you note for a letter of recommendation

Give your soon-to-be-former employer a chance to say how much they appreciated having you – but make sure you get there first by sharing how much you appreciated your time at the company.

This is a useful way to end things on a positive “note,” while leaving both parties with a tangible reminder of the relationship you built up at a company.

This recommendation can also be digital!

Have you had to quit a job? How did you manage it?


About the author

Rosie Hales was an Editorial and Marketing intern at TalentEgg in the summer of 2013. She recently hatched her career in Communications at her alma mater, Queen's University. Follow her on Twitter @rosieehales.