How to Quit Your Job. (With Class.)

15 Aug

Now, this can often be a fairly awkward situation as it sometimes feels like a break-up.  However, it doesn’t have to be.  Here’s what you do.

  1. Two weeks notice. Make sure you give the standard two-weeks notice or the otherwise reasonable amount of time depending on your particular job.  Of course, make sure that you have all your ducks in a row before leaving.  Your quitting shouldn’t leave your employer up shit-creek without a paddle.
  2. Do it at the end of the day.  This minimizes awkwardness, ensures time and attention, and will give your boss the rest of the evening to digest the situation.
  3. Be positive, smiling and energetic.  As the initiator, you have the power to set the tone of the meeting. So make it positive!! No need to start things off on a negative, awkward tone.  Set the tone with a smile and get them on board with your excitement.  In essence, no matter what you actually think their reaction will be, go into it with the attitude that they should be just as excited about this as you are– it would take a real heart of stone to resist mirroring your enthusiasm.
  4. The explanation. No need to go into a whole prolix speech about your reasons for leaving, keep it light and positive.  You can even play it like you weren’t looking but this wonderful opportunity just fell into your lap.  Here are some great phrases to keep it positive and avoid any potential for hurt feelings. Mix and match as you please…

You got a really great offer

This is a great opportunity

You couldn’t in good conscience turn it down

You had met this guy a while backand he called you up the other day saying there was an opening and they really want you etc.  Seemed like a good guy so you took a meeting and it was just too good to pass up

     KEEP in mind, you’re probably like the 60th person who has quit on you boss or left for whatever reason.  Not to mention, they’ve done the same to their former bosses. You certainly aren’t the first and won’t be the last so don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Trust me, they’ll get over it, it’s only business.

     5.  Be Appropriately Grateful.  Be sure to mention what a great experience you had, that you learned so much, etc.. Whenever delivering quasi-upsetting news, you want to counterbalance that with as much positivity as possible.  And nothing is more readily accepted (and distracting) as flattery. So, without being so obvious as to appear insincere, pack a good amount of compliments and ample gratuity into your spiel.

     6. The Resignation Letter.  Where appropriate, draft a resignation letter as official documentation of your 2-weeks notice.  This makes it easier for your boss to share the news of your leaving with other members of the firm, or co-workers and may be required by your Human Resources Dept. for record keeping purposes.  A classy way to present this letter is at the end of your discussion, and in a black non-sealed envelope.  You could also write your bosses name on it.

      If you hand it open as just a piece of paper at the beginning of your meeting, they will likely have their head down reading or otherwise focusing on your letter and not your well crafted delivery of the news.  Plus handing someone an open document like, “Hey, I quit.” is just awkward. All potentially awkward documents or transactions are placed in envelopes– e.g. divorce papers, bribes, ransom notes, or payments– all put in envelopes.

     So break the news, give your explanation, and after they respond, place the envelope on their desk explaining, “Here is my official letter in case you needed something in writing.”

     7. Finish Strong. Before you know it, boom! You’re done. So work just as hard if not harder your last couple of weeks and end on a high note.  Always good to have strong letters of recommendation from former employers.

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