How to quit a job: 5 steps and 2 warnings

On some level, it’s fun to quit a job. It’s fun to remind people that they don’t own you. It’s fun to feel that burst of freedom as you walk out the door. But it’s no fun if you don’t quit right.

Before you quit, you need a semi-plan for what you’ll do next: You will either work or play. Pick one. You cannot pick sitting in front of the TV because it is lame and you will be sorry.

If you pick work, then get another job lined up before you quit, because getting a job while you have a job means that your company paid you to job hunt.

If you choose to play, make sure you have enough money to play in a way that will actually be fun. One of my most misguided attempts at play was when I took a trip to France and ended up earning room and board by chopping off chicken heads.

Before you quit you also need to make sure the job is the problem. Maybe you are the problem and you are blaming everything on the job so you don’t have to look at yourself. The Occupational Adventure offers a good way to take a look at your life to see what’s really holding you back. Do an honest assessment. If your job is not holding you back, then deal with what is, while you’re gainfully employed. Self-examination is always easier to do when you can pay your rent.

If you really do think quitting is the right decision, here’s how to tell your boss:

1. Be kind, even if you hate your boss, because your boss is not your boss anymore. She is part of your network. And some people who are jerks to work for are actually nice and fun outside of work. You don’t know until you try. So hedge your bets and be gracious on the way out, even if you don’t feel that way.

2. Make sure your boss knows that this is a good move for you. Even if you’re not sure if it’s a good move, tell your boss that it is. We all need to believe in ourselves, or else who will?

3. Put it in writing. Why are there six thousand examples of resignation letters on the Internet? You are not Winston Churchill. You can write one sentence: “I’m leaving this company on [date].” If you want to tell your boss how much you hate her, see rule number one. If you want to nail your boss for illegal behavior, see a lawyer. Don’t tell the company how to fix itself. You are leaving. If they care about your input so much they can pay you as a consultant. Which they will not, because they do not care.

4. If you want a counter-offer, give your boss enough notice to come up with one before you leave. A counter-offer is much less likely to come after you’re gone.

5. Show gratitude for what your boss has done for you. A personal thank you note is a good way to leave because your boss can reread it all the time and remember only the good things about you. This will help when you call your boss for a favor — like when you need a reference.

Also, people who express gratitude are happier than those who don’t. The National Institute of Healthcare Research reports, “People who regularly practice grateful thinking reap emotional, physical and interpersonal benefits.” So find something nice to say about your boss and you’ll feel great as you walk out the door.

 

Posted in No image, Quitting
72 comments on “How to quit a job: 5 steps and 2 warnings
  1. Wendy says:

    Thanks for writing this one. It’s timely for me as it looks like I’ll be quiting my job, which I have enjoyed for over four years, to take on a similar but larger role at another company. I am starting to ponder how I’ll tell everyone. I’ll need many of my current co-workers as contacts in my new position, so making everyone feel good about me and my time at the company is key. There are some good suggestions here. Thanks.

  2. Katie says:

    I have a question for Ms. Trunk and the general community. I am about to resign from my job, and I know that my boss will not take it well. I know to be courteous and professional, but if he asks what company I am going to next, should I tell him? I work for a nonprofit, so the connections are heavy within the community and our group. I can see the situation being either positive or negative. What do you suggest?

  3. The Googler says:

    Replying to Katie — Tell your boss. Your name will probably be on your new employer’s website soon enough. Having worked at non-profits in NYC, they love to post people’s names and bios. And sites like ZoomInfo.com troll company websites for people’s bios — here’s what a search for “Katie” turned up…

  4. Erik says:

    I agree with the googler that you should definitely tell your boss. If you don’t tell your boss where you are going how would you ever be able to use him as a contact in the future? It seems very confrontational to me to not tell where you’re going.

  5. Penelope Trunk says:

    Congratulations on the new job!

    If your boss will be upset that you’re leaving, it’s probably because he/she really liked the work you were doing. So this person is going to be great for your network, once she gets over the fact that you left.

    Quitting a job is all about laying the foundation for future networking, and long-term mutual support. Once you leave, your relationship needs to adjust a little and then you can settle into something new with her.

    But you can’t do anything of this by being secretive (at best) and deceitful (at worst). So come clean about where you are going, and, if pressed, why you have decided to move on.

    Note: When you talk about why you’re leaving, the best way to phrase it, in order to preserve your relationship with your boss, is to frame your departure in a positive, non-confrontational light — what you are moving toward. As opposed to a negative light — what you are moving away from.

    Good luck with the new job.

    Penelope

  6. Sue S says:

    I think most of this is solid advice. Often people do not realize the truth of: make sure the job is the problem.

    I would be wary of #4 “If you want a counter-offer.”

    Many companies peg you as disloyal even if they make a counter-offer you accept. Clearly, this is not ALWAYS true. But could be risky even to accept one unless you are buying time and keep looking.

    It’s better to read all the professional information you can on asking for a raise, then deciding your next step.

    * * * * * * * *
    Interesting point. I think a lot of people do exit interviews as a way to get a counter offer. There is good evidence to show that counter offers are bad practice.

    Counter offers happen when there is a bad employee/employer relationship to begin with. Think about these scenarios: If an employee is leaving just for the money, then you should probably let them go. If your employer will only pay you fairly if you get another offer, then you should probably leave. Here’s a good article about this:

    http://www.employmenttimesonline.com/employers/article.php?ID=169

    Penelope

  7. clatsop says:

    I work in a retail venue that is open 24/7 and needs people to work all shifts, including non-traditional “mid-shifts” such as 10am-6pm, noon-8pm, 5pm-1am, etc. This has been ideal for parents and students (I am both) who need to work around children and class schedules. I have been here for 14 years and really like my job.

    Two years ago this company eliminated my career path. This past March they gave notice that my entire departnment would be eliminated next March (2008). I have been carefully saving money and planning my classes so I could quit at that time.

    The latest new rule forces me out now. They will accept no more requests for schedules. If you say you can work a certain day, they will schedule you whenever they need you and will not work around classes or anything else.If you need anypart of any day off, you must request the entire day off. So I have gone from a 35 hour workweek to a 16 hour one. I cannot live on 16 hours per week so I have no choice but to leave this job.

    I do have plans for leaving. Savings, college classses, etc. The plans aren’t entirely complete yet because I was planning to stay for 6 more months. But 6 more months at half salary or less won’t get me any closer to my goals.

    I have vacation approved for mid August. I will be gone for 2 weeks. I would like to give my 2 week notice the day before I leave and then just not return after my vacation. What I want to know is if this is proper timing? I want to do it this way because I do not want the one office gossip person (every workplace has that “one”!) to find out about this until I am gone.

  8. Broc says:

    As a professional recruiter, I feel compelled to comment about your suggested step #4. You should never use a resigantion as a device to get a counter-offer. First, you cannot ever be sure one will be forthcoming. Secondly, if you think your relationship with your employer is strained now, try accepting a counter-offer. The expectations will go throught the roof and you will never be looked at the same by your company. They’ll probably start figuring out how to replace you ASAP.

    If you feel your position is worth salvaging, you should approach your boss, air your grievances and work to repair the relationship and improve your situation before moving on. It may be a good idea to have something in the wings before you have this conversation if you think there’s a chance you’ll be fired over bringing this up. If your problem is not addressed by this honest approach, you do need to find a new boss.

    After working through this you decide it’s time to move on, alawys provide a professional notice (at least two weeks)and resist attempts from your current employer to counter-offer. You have done everything in your power to help them help you and moving on is the only way to improve your career. There are a lot more aspects to a job than money.

    I agree with your other points.

  9. Kevin says:

    Reply to clatsop:
    Regarding vacationa approved in Mid-August. Give your two week notice two weeks before you leave on “vacation” so your vacation start date is actually your end date at the job. This is a much better method than not coming back from vacation and also you will get paid for this 2 weeks of vacation that you did not use, when you conceivably will not be working anyway. Not coming back from vacation is cowardly and rude.

  10. audge says:

    is this ok:
    i don’t have enough time to end the job before the vacation start date, so if i end the job a few days after i come back from my vacation?

  11. audge says:

    but i still hand in the letter before vacation so i still take the vacation on their time

    * * * * * *
    It’s okay to do, but you run the risk of your company telling you not to come back after vacation. I think the more important issue is leaving on good terms, which means having all your work/projects in order when you quit.

    -Penelope

  12. peter william says:

    i have a question about quit the job?
    what can i write to the company?
    how can i get vacation before quiting?
    how can i get scholarship before quit
    how can i leave a note befor quit

  13. Linda says:

    I’m in a situation that currently feels like a crisis. I’ve been at my new job for three months and have felt since day 1 that it is not a good fit, specifically working with my boss. These feelings are progressively getting stronger and I feel trapped.

    I feel that it is completely unprofessional to leave a job after such a short period of time. How do I explain the stint at this company to future employers?

    * * * * *

    You can leave the job off your resume. Just say you were job hunting – which you were doing, in a way. You are looking for a job you want and this wasn’t it. Easier to explain long job hunt than three-month stint. And reminder: A resume is not your life story. It a document to highlight your career acheivements. When you can, leave off stuff that makes you look bad. No one puts every little thing on their resume. It would be impossible.

    -Penelope

  14. Linda says:

    Thanks, Penelope. I went ahead and gave my two weeks notice and am now doing my best to leave with dignity and grace. My next question is, how and when do I tell fellow co-workers? I have eight more days on the job don’t want to be the topic of work gossip but don’t want to give too little notice, especially to the people I work directly with.

    By the way-My boss is even trying to micromanage my resignation!

  15. chloe says:

    I have a question related to this I’m hoping I can get some guidance on:

    I’ve been at my company for over 6 years, and it’s been a great experience but I just feel like it’s time to move on. I love and respect the people (even though sometimes way the company runs is totally dysfunctional), and getting good references is extremely important for me.

    I’ve decided to make my last day at the end of April, and I already have a 2 week vacation booked for the last half of March. Should I give notice before I leave on vacation, or when I get back (that would be 1 month’s notice).

    I know 1 month is more than enough, i just feel a little shady about giving notice the day after I get back from a paid vacation. Plus, my position is not going to be easy for them to replace. I welcome any and all thoughts!

  16. Chloe says:

    Response to Chloe: One month of notice is very nice, and while they will want you to stay on even more — which you may be able to negotiate as a consultant, which could be a nice switch — your company needs to use that month to find a replacement.

    When you return from vacation is a very good time to give notice, because you can say, “I had time to do some thinking.” The fact that your company is paying for your vacation is irrelevant as they have to.

    I would not give notice before your vacation, and I would even wait until mid-week after getting back.

    Best,
    Dan

  17. Anthony says:

    Great tips. Most important thing is…
    1. If you haven’t got another job to go to, then make sure you have a plan. And do some moonlighting to build up a buffer of money.
    2. No matter how much you hate your boss, don’t ‘burn your bridges’ you may need a favor, a job, a reference at some point in the future.

    I quit my 10 year job at a corporate company 2 weeks ago. I spent a year trying various money making schemes so that I could be my own boss.
    I eventually stumbled upon this:
    http://www.autoforexmoney.com/?pt
    and have never looked back. I work 1 hour a day, I’m my own boss, and that daily hour is the most exciting job I’ve ever had.

  18. Mikey says:

    I believe the author makes an excellent argument against burning bridges. I read this piece three times, and finally realized the importance of understanding what I read before finishing my letter.

    I appreciate this advice because I will be quiting my job. I wasn’t there long, and I do not see myself in any way as a failure. In fact, the burn-out rate in this particular job is pretty high anyway so, I’m not bummed that I didn’t do my best. What I do is really hard and I know I did a really good job. I just wish I could have kept doing it under different circumstances. Perhaps better-managed ones?

    Thank you for the timely advice.

  19. Will. says:

    Thank you for all your great articles!

    I have a question: has anyone heard of being required to give a month of notice?

    I had never heard of that, until the end of July, when I told my boss (who already knew I was looking) that I was taking an offer that strongly wanted me the third week in August. I am hourly, but everyone treats it like salary (albeit low). This is a research assistant position at a university.

    I postponed my start date, as some overlap with my replacement is important, and to consider his counter offer and invitation to change my mind (but told him to proceed with finding my replacement).

    This morning, I reaffirmed that I was taking the new position. And, the departmental secretary still wants a month of notice, because I’m paid monthly — from today.

    My boss is great, and it is very important that I maintain the best reputation possible with both him and his colleagues in the department.

    Can I properly give “two weeks notice” in my letter, when the department tells me they expect a month?

    I’d hate to risk damaging my start at the new job, for a non-standard expectation.

  20. Jim Bell says:

    Penolope, I’m looking to quit my job in a few months. I writing about it so I can start to voice the reality of it in my head. I’ve changed jobs several times in my career. I look forward to the change. I’m leaving because of my boss. My boss is a bully and a super delegator. He has an MBA therefore, he knows everything about business. Typical conversations involve his barking biz philosophy and orders (likes to hear his own voice). He frequently interupts me and others on the team. I don’t feel like I have a voice around him. Nobody does. Nightmare boss likes to be center of attention at all times. In recent years, I’ve yessed him to death in order to halt his bullying. Of course it didn’t work – just made him bully more. I recognize my mistake however, I can’t do much about it at this point. I feel mostly numb to him bullying now. I find myself more distracted, frustrated and depressed outside of work. I agree one should pay attention to these warning signs. I’m really looking forward to the day I give the resignation ! I am his top sales person. I know he likes my work. Frankly, after I quit, I’m not sure I want to keep him as part of my career network. I’ll probably write a brief letter of resignation and, have a standard set of explanations to provide when he calls me. I’ll be polite, firm and brief.

    Do you have any advice on how to avoid taking a job with a future bully boss? I’d like to avoid creeps like this in the future..

  21. MIkey says:

    In response to Will’s question about your employer asking you to give one month’s notice: I’ve never heard of that, anywhere. I think that it would be a great courtesy, but I would check your contract. As an hourly person, you shouldn’t have to give anything above 2 weeks’ notice, if that.

    However, I also used to work at university as a researcher for a very low salary and the department secretary (why they have the power that they do is beyond me!) wanted a month’s notice. I told them that I needed to eat and had other obligations, and unless they could give me a salary increase, they couldn’t have me for the extra month. In fact, getting students to fill your position is very easy; depending on where you are, international students are lining up for these jobs and are willing to do them for almost nothing. And the department secretary knows that.

    If you want my advice, I would take aside a professor from the department (who you trust and who will keep a confidence) and say “Listen, I need this new job and the secretary is telling me she needs me to give one month’s notice–what do you think I should do?”) He/she may just say “Don’t worry about it, I’ll talk to her” or “Don’t sweat it, I’ll give you the reference.” And that’s how you get around the department secretary. The secretary may be the gate-keeper, but using blackmail on you to keep you in a low-wage job (and by the by, how much is she making?) is pretty despicable, so in effect she’s probably not going to give you a good reference anyway. If she has no respect for your need to survive outside her department, imagine how she’s going to be when you actually leave?

    When I was a senior researcher, my boss was all peaches-and-cream until I told her something very personal. I had to get an advance on my meager salary because I had just recently become single. I was an international student, I had no place to live, and I wasn’t in a traditional relationship. The moment I told her this, she treated me very badly. Then, I found out later, even with the best Letter of Reference that anyone could write, that she was still bad-mouthing me. So, my references from this time come from a friend who I used to work with. Get those references and go around the secretary.

    And good luck! I know what it’s like to be in your position. Before being faithful to someone who is using their power and possible rejection of you to keep you subservient, consider getting your references in order and then having a nice, assertive conversation with whomever. Something along the lines of “I know you understand the importance of this new job and I know you understand that as an hourly employee, I don’t really need to give you any notice at all, so I’m guessing two weeks would be enough.” As my friend L put it when she quit from the same department (and she’s the one who is my referee), “We can do this nice, or we can do this nasty.” They had a lot more respect for her after this conversation, and they didn’t try to bad-mouth her. I was great with them and they’re bad-mouthing me to this day.

    Worry about yourself first. Yes, you’ll want a good reference, but that doesn’t come from the overly-inflated Ego secretary. That comes from the professors you work with. The secretary, outside of her little desk job at the university has no clout what-so-ever. The professors do.

    Mikey

  22. K says:

    I have been thinking about quitting my job almost around the time since I started in September. It is a combination of a boss that sends me home pent up with stress each day, reduced work hours, and a need for a higher hourly wage. I have been reading the comments and understand how to go about writing a letter of resignation etc., but how should I respond if she brings up my job interview? I told her in taking this independent bookseller job that I wasn’t in this business for the money, but that I was looking to be working a lot of hours. I was sincere in saying that, and feel like a hypocrite for quitting for that reason. She told me when I was offered the job that I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with hours because I’m new, but a few months in and she is cutting back my hours.I would like to leave this job on my resume because, as a freshman in college, I need to add as much work experience as I can to ensure that I can attain another job. As for the hourly wage,I was a bit naive when I moved to the state and, after a month being there, expected that I could live on the money she offered.However, out of the house for the first time I realize that I need to do a bit more to accumulate some savings.Could you offer tips for me on how to go about this?
    Thank you for your time,
    K.

  23. dave says:

    im sorry but if your boss is an a hole and treat like a crap why would you show gratitude?

    stick it to him. dont make him feel good about treatin you like crap or he will continue to treat others like that

    make a difference!

  24. Taylor says:

    Thank you so much for the great input.. Here is my big question regarding if I should go ahead and quit (which would be a HUGE relief) or wait until I secure another position (which is the practical choice)?

    Since November 2007, I have worked as the coordinator for a non-profit in my hometown. I am very blessed for this position because I have been able to live with my parents (save some money and be with them during some tough times including my younger sister who is in high school). I have been able to afford to purchase a nice reliable car, I was driving my deceased great-grandmothers car that I would have to paddle like a flintstone. I have also lots of great worthy experiences and develop new skills and learned a lot.

    However, I have been through some serious issues that my predescessor had left behind such as staff members doing horrible and unethical decision making (child using our business computers for porn – yeah!, lying on grant applications, no paper trails on how funds were purchased most of the time, using work phone for long distance and very long personal calls, and sooo much other crap). I have had two colleagues (one is my predecessor’s mother-in-law – yea!) both have done things such as go to conferences that are for community’s youth – they take their kids or grandkids no others unless their kid has a friend, they are rarely turning in paperwork and financial records to our supervisor on time if so its late and always erroed, the “mother-in-law” has threatened other offices’ staff about stupid issues yet our supervisor (which is a board) won’t do anything except a slap on the wrist, and I am constantly told by these colleagues how I do my job. I am not saying that I am perfect and I actually don’t mind people’s guidance, but when it comes to the point where they are just being rude, dumb (if I may say so), and extremely unethical thats just wrong. For example, part of my job besides supervising my five staff members, run a non-profit, and also take care of a maintenace of a community center (which houses lots of other offices including these two individuals).

    My executive committee members constantly talk about oh poor so and so they have a lot going on in their personal life, hello – I have a life too (I have never said that except you know I have personal issues too but I don’t bring them to the office).

    I am just dying to get away from here. I am applying to other places, but with this economy I feel like its going to take forever. I know the smart thing to do is to keep working until I find another place, but this effecting my health, my sleep, my eating habits, and so fourth. I know that’s not healthy and I have tried for so long to not let get to me, which I am doing pretty good if I may say so considering all the stuff I have been through. It has been since November 2007, nothing has changed. The staff member had a position with a term, which eneded this past November (2008). Well, some of my board members said they agreed she needed to go, well this other colleague has hired her… no one has said anything! The board is over all three of us..

    As you can see, it would be a great book for supervisors…I am just sooo tired of people backstabbing, lying, gossiping, trying to damage other people, and then acting with a smile and crying to be the drama people. I have to say I kept my ethics, values, and myself from doing anything wrong, which I mean I have been honest, straight forward, hard working, committeed to my job, and so fourth.

    I am just soooo tired of it all and I know every job we have we go through stuff like this, but it just seems like 100% worse than what we normally go through…

    Okay, sorry for the blabbing..what should I do?

    • Mikey says:

      Taylor, let me first acknowledge how difficult it is to be on a Board. I was the treasurer of not-for-profit for about a year, and it almost destroyed me. The major problems included 1) bad management, 2) bad attitudes, and 3) a bunch of old people thinking that they had some God-given right to wield power. Our non-voting member was useless, and tried her best to get stuff done under-the-table, and for all intents and purposes, illegally and contrary to Society Act rules. In the end, I wanted to quit, and that’s exactly what I did.

      Here is what I want to tell you. Your board follows some sort of Society Act: look it up, and resign, following the section and sub-section numbers provided. So, for example “I regret to inform the Board that, as of this date and effective immediately, I resign from my obligations. I understand that, under Section X.X of the Society Act that I must surrender all materials to the board, and have thus provided them herein.”

      Basically, you need to quit.

      I know the economy sucks, but the alternative is that people will find out what is going on there, and your reputation will end up becoming damaged. Write something like “Due to time constraints, I will no longer be able to perform my duties as….” Thank them for the opportunity, and then make sure the materials are sent back via FEDEX or another registered service, so they can’t come back at you.

      I sympathize with your situation, but if they are doing the kinds of things that my board did, you don’t want to be a part of it. You’ve got back up. You’re at your folk’s place, so while it’s not ideal, at least you’re not in dire straights. And you’ve got a car–something I can only dream of at this point. So you’re better off than most. But if people are talking–and they are, believe me–then you want to put as much distance from that place as possible, because sooner or later, they’ll pin it on you. I’m guessing you’re not as old as many of the other members, and the older ones always pin crap on the younger ones. It happened to me.

      Good luck! And remember: no more not-for-profits. They’re evil and built to stay that way.

      Mikey

  25. Sydney says:

    I just decided to quit my job today. It’s the first job I’ve ever had (I’m in college but wanted to start working to build my resume) and it was just a crappy little minimum wage job. I was working at a dog kennel and doggy daycare facility and my work involved cleaning, feeding, monitoring large groups of dogs and whatever the kennel told us to do. I got to the point where I could not put up with being taken advantage anymore. Because of the state of the economy (or so the kennel claimed), they refused to give me a raise. They promised me a raise after three months and with today marking my sixth month (which I didn’t even think of before quitting) I was still making minimum wage. There was a bunch of other upsetting stuff that happened at that job but suffice to say that I went home everyday feeling abused. I’m a senior in college and I just got fed up with feeling like I was in high school again (the gossip, drama, passive aggression) and decided I would be better off not having a strong resume and saving my self-esteem and mental health. When I submitted my letter of resignation my boss acted incredibly hurt, asked me why I didn’t talk to her about it first and couldn’t understand why I was leaving so quickly (I resigned effective immediately). The management of the kennel act like this job was a career – something that I would have for a long time and ought to care very much about. I found it surprising that they were so shocked that I quit. Was this a rash decision? Should I stayed a few more months longer to see if things might have changed or gotten better? I’m feeling pretty confused and unsure because this happened so quick. One of the other workers said something to me this morning that put me over the edge and I decided to remove myself from that unhealthy situation. What do you think?

    • Griggs says:

      I believe you did the right thing. The boss is always goinng to act hurt and feel like you abandon them. But rest assure, someone else will come along and do the job for even less. I also gave notice and left that moment because I was being bad mouthed by a director to an owner and I walk into the converstion as it was being spoken. That helped my decision along with a personal family matter. I do feel bad at times because I did not get a chance to speak to my owners, that I became fond of and the changes they were making to the job I was doing. That’s my only regret!

  26. Scott says:

    I was laid-off in January after ten years with the same company. I finally found another job 3 weeks ago and I hate it, my body can’t take the physical demands of the new job.

    Should I wait to find a new job or say goodbye now and save myself the aches and pain? (we are all getting older!)

  27. steve jaubert says:

    I was very happy to quit my job a week ago. I think having another job already part time whenever i wanted made it easier for me. The nice thing was a day later a cold call turned into another job and better pay. I think my policy of having another part time job on the backburner is very stress relieving if things go bad. Its trully sad because this guy i was with in a private practice had a lot of potential be he has surrounded himself with several hormonal know-it-alls that cannot work with new people as much as they swear allegiance to their boss. They don’t understand how they undermind him who, by the way, turned out to be moody, unprofessional, and often an egotistical braggart at times despite his knowledge. It just kept getting worse and he would never allow mutual discussion it was always his way and he even threatened me a couple of times with subtle and not so subtle reminders that he was my ticket there. I frankly feel happy now that he has to go find someone else and it will take some time for him to get back to when i left since he’ll be assuming more work. God, it was a great week since then just getting back to my old self and enjoying life. Steve Jaubert

  28. hghgenf20 says:

    I’m going to give a copy of this to my son. He wants to resign his job and tell his boss what he thinks of him. I’ve tried to explain to him that it’s never a good idea to burn your bridges. Thanks for the tips.

  29. Amy says:

    I just wanted to respond to the comment by the recruiter – it is absolutely not true that a counter offer will upset your employer. I have a co-worker who found a job and was about to leave, then was offered a counter offer to stay. It has not hurt this person’s reputation one bit, and in fact he has done spectacularly well since then (2 promotions in about 18 months).

    If a company respects you and wants to keep you, they will counter offer and will be happy if you accept that counter offer. The important thing is that you are honestly ready to leave the company if the counter offer does not meet your needs. (and that you don’t continue to complain once the company has met your stated needs)

  30. Griggs says:

    I resigned from my job the day after school started from a well known preschool. For starters, the resignation was due to a personal family matter back home. I felt pinned to the wall. I gave notice and left, that same moment. I had been pushed to the edge mentally by the changes daily being made ( micromanaging) and lied about to the owner because the directors were trying to make a name for themselves. I love teaching there and the new owners that took over in Feburary of this year were great and doing great things for the school. But the stupid, unknowledgable directors turned teaching in classroom into teaching in an office. My regret is not making it to the phone to answer the owners call, I was on the other line talking the the Doctor of my MOM who is sick. My greatest regret!!!!

  31. Avery St. Clair says:

    I’ve been in my job fifteen years. My supervisors treat me well in every way, except that they expect me to do things I have no idea how to do. I’m somehow to figure it out while continuing to do my regular work. They regard me as a nay-sayer if I point out the impossibility. This is untenable. I feel pressured and humiliated. What option do I have but to resign?

  32. Kurt says:

    I really want to quit my job as I am getting underpaid which isn’t easy for me as a university student. Also my boss is an old, cranky and very rude tyrant who yells and swears at employees in front of customers, literally for no reason. I am awful at dealing with money and often get myself into trouble when doing that, so I want a job where I won’t have to do it.
    I will be sending resumes to other stores and if I get an offer to work somewhere else, how can I tell my boss who I am absolutely terrified of that I am quitting? Mind you, I have only been working there for about 5 months and already hate it.
    Thanks.

  33. T.R. says:

    I found this article to be the most trash filled pile of nonsense anybody could write. 90% of future employers will never contact a previous employer. Many past employers will sandbag you in one way or another as revenge for your leaving them. Believe me it is the old snort once for yes and twice for no if they even bother to do the reference check. I normally consider them lucky if I call to inform them that I quit.

    This garbage was obviously this stuff was written by a suck up company snitch who expects a raise for writing this ridiculous nonsense. Your employer cares for nothing more than how much money they earn from your work and nothing else. Wake up brainwashed people.

  34. AL says:

    best thing to do when quitting a job is to call in and tell them you’re not coming in because you have anal glaucoma. when they ask you what that is tell them that you can’t see your ass coming into work.

  35. Sarah says:

    I am thinking of quitting my job, i have only been there a year but the office has a really bad vibe and i dread going there everyday. Our director is a complete control freak and cannot handle running an office. There is only me, another administrator and the director, the other colleague is also thinking of leaving.

    I want to quit, but i can’t do it at the same time as the other worker as it will leave the business with no one?

  36. Sarah says:

    I left a job of two years to come to a nonprofit outpatient job. It is a lot further away from my home and the hours are longer than I expected. Plus, I don’t have any flexibility with my schedule which I did not expect to happen. I thought that I would be able to adjust to these things. I have only been here 3 months, but I don’t think that I can keep this job because of gas prices and because of being away from my son so much during the week. I have already started looking for a job closer to home. This is a small practice and my boss is little uptight but she is a nice person. I am worried that she is going to freak if I inform her that I am looking, but I really need to be able to keep this job on my resume so I want to be courteous and make her aware of the situation. Any advice?

  37. A Crock says:

    99% of this advice is a crock. The very next day your boss will have his or her crony slamming to the other workers for quitting with a variety of semi slanderous remarks. They may even put out propaganda about what a lousy employee you were. In addition anything and everything that has gone wrong in your employers business will in fact be blamed on you for one reason or another. Wake up and smell the real roses. They are a very sad odor indeed. I have seen this take place even at some of the most distinguished organizations and employers. Give notice if you can and move on. Do a few bogus calls from a pay phone or one with a blocked ID 6 or 12 months down the road. Act like a potential employer and find out what they are saying. Make sure to check the laws and if legal record what is said. It may give you grounds for a lawsuit against them if they slander you beyond the job.

    This happy snappy attitude of quitting was probably written by an arrogant employer. I certainly would not listen to this nonsense.

  38. Danny says:

    I just quit my job after 25 years in the information technology industry. It was something Maggie and I had been planning. Why leave retirement to when you are too old to enjoy it? We believe in a staged retirement i.e. save up enough money to take a few months off or even a year. We plan to spend more time with our family, to travel and to follow some passions and dreams we have been putting off for a long time.

  39. Ryan says:

    Sound advice, but I’d skip item 4. Anecdotally, I’ve never known of a counter-offer going well, but I’ve heard several cases of counter-offers leading to employer resent and a desperate search to replace the (perceived) blackmailing employee who gave them a sudden ultimatum. If you love your job, but don’t think it’s paying the market price, politely make your case for a raise at annual review.

  40. Iolite Portable Vaporizers says:

    I am so pleased to have found your web page. My friend said itto me previously, yet never got around to checking it out so far. I must state, I’m impressed. I definitely enjoyed browsing through your articles and will absolutely come back to get more.

  41. fon says:

    pls i want to quit my job as a cleanner what should i do ?i now have a diploma

  42. Barbara says:

    I quit my job on saturday because i was being mistreated and disrespected by another employee which i had brought it up to my boss attention and all he would say was ill figure it out and never did anything so on Saturday that was it i decided i wasnt taking it no more so i left the keys in the safe walked out called my boss and told him i wasnt going back to work and that same nite i emailed him my resignation letter telling him i wasnt going back to work but my question is “can i be punished by not going back to work and just quiting like that?”

  43. Barbara says:

    I quit my job on saturday because i was being mistreated and disrespected by another employee which i had brought it up to my boss attention and all he would say was ill figure it out and never did anything so on Saturday that was it i decided i wasnt taking it no more so i left the keys in the safe walked out called my boss and told him i wasnt going back to work and that same nite i emailed him my resignation letter telling him i wasnt going back to work but my question is “can i be punished by not going back to work and just quiting like that?”

  44. Yasmin Martin says:

    Hey guys, could really use some help! I’m a manager of a home decor and gift store, and Christmas is a HUGE deal for us, with most of our money made at this time of year. Unfortunately, the whole setup has been ridiculous, with stock pouring out of our ears. We’ve been putting in 15-19 hour days this last week, and we’ve both been hating it and half-jokingly been talking about quitting for a while. I’ve never been more certain in my life that I physically and mentally cannot do this any longer, but today my assistant manager told me he’s going to put his notice in to our area manager tomorrow (coincidentally our area manager is terrifying). So now I really really REALLY want to quit, but this is just the very beginning of busy season for our store, and I hate the idea of both of us quitting at the same time this close to Christmas. We will literally be leaving the store with no managers, and no one to step up into our jobs. The team consists of us and a bunch of Christmas casuals who have only worked a couple of shifts each. We’ll literally be leaving the store in limbo at the worst possible time, but i honestly don’t know how much more I can do. The stress is making me sick, and I definitely can’t manage without my assistant manager. Any suggestions or guidance? Seriously, any feedback would be welcome!

  45. Akeira says:

    Hi!

    After 9 months in my current job I was approached by a contact at one of my previous clients who offered me a job. I have subsequently accepted the offer and now have to resign my current job. Contractually I only have to give 1 months notice, but due to SEC independence rules I can only start with my new employer in 2 months? Should I give my current employer notice now or should I wait another month before I do?

  46. Erica says:

    Okay, I started this job that I started this job that I really didn’t want to do… after a week I realized that I really didn’t wanna go back… the day then friday one of my family members died… and I called in (hoping that they would tell me its too early to call in and fire me) But, nope… they just told me…. okay no prob… see you when your ready to come back.. until then we will figure something out… the problem is I really don’t wanna go back… what do I do? Should I just call them tomorrow and say I quit??

  47. Beth says:

    I’m currently employed and really love my job, but due to the location and travel I have to start on the job hunt for something new locally. I noticed a competitive company has a posting up for a position that I think I could be good at, in my home base. But since I know a lot of colleagues from this company, I am afraid that word may get out if I apply. Is there some sort of legality involved with that? Can they get in trouble if my current employer find out?

  48. Olivia says:

    I use to like my job, until i started to get bullied at work. And when i asked my manager do do something about it, she was too scared to do anything herself. when i mentioned it to the next boss up i was told off and so was my manager who in turn told me off yet still did nothing and sudgested it was my fault somehow i was being bullied. so i am leaving and i want to leave quietly without the bullying staff knowing im going. ive had to give my manager notice and asked her not to tell the staff. i was told: “that might not be possible”. so i will have to endure a two faced parrade of sugar coated hate durring my final days? dont i have any rights?

    • wm says:

      Olivia — you’re not a slave. You have the right to leave at any point you want (assuming you’re not under contract).

      The reasons to give a full two weeks notice are to

      1. be nice to an employer who deserves it

      2. maintain good references, and work relationships (or at least to minimize any damage to your reputation and work relationships that you might need in the future [you never know!])

      3. prove to potential future employers that you won’t up and quit on them, which is a very, very important point

      4. show to potential future employers that you quit on your terms, and didn’t “quit under duress” (“almost fired”)

      Evaluate whether you’ll get these four items, or anything else, from this employer. Be careful, as not working out your notice is likely to get a black mark in your file, which is definitely burning bridges. But do not feel obligated to someone who gives you nothing in return.

  49. wm says:

    And remember: exit interviews intentionally look like they want to serve your interests, but they’re actually conducted to serve the employer’s interests.

  50. peter says:

    I would be resigning by June after a 2 year and a half stay in the company. i am moving for a higher salary and position.

    thanks for this article. i now know what shuld i be doing before, during and after the resignation.

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