How to Quit Your Job

YOU DID IT! You applied, stressed over your cover letter, worked hard on your resume, had an interview, and got the new job! Whether it’s a level up or a lateral move, congrats. You earned this. One last thing…

You have to quit your current job.

Cue dramatic music – and hopefully not panic. In case you are concerned about the confrontation that might occur – ‘cause let’s face it, it’s never fun to quit a job, even if it’s a toxic one – I’ve put together a roadmap for your resignation adventure.  

Confirm Before You Quit

You have to first accept and say yes to your new job! This, of course, all assumes you want to quit – if you’re simply using this offer as a leverage point for you to get a better situation at your current job, that’s a completely different situation.

Assuming you DO want to move to this new offer, be sure you sign a contract or accept a written offer of employment before you quit. Do not just depend on verbal! I can’t tell you how many times I see the same thing happen: someone gets offered a job, verbally. They are so pumped! And then, they get ghosted or the offer isn’t nearly as good as expected, so they don’t end up taking it. The bad part here?

They’ve already told their other job.

Bring on the awkward moments of trying to keep your current job or being unemployed.

Make sure all of your ducks are in a row before you quit. Look over information and confirm that YES, this is what you want to do and YES, you are ready to move on.

Check the Rules

What does your current policy say about notice? Is it two weeks or something different? Take some time to check out your handbook or any other reference points about employment.

While generally speaking, notice is two weeks, if there is no policy in place, look at what others have done. Did they just disappear (hopefully not) or did they give a standard two weeks?

Talk To Your Boss

Do not simply email, text, or carrier pigeon your boss your resignation letter. Set up a meeting to tell her in person. Usually, it’s best to schedule the meeting and tell her the news in the meeting – you can also mention it in the request. No matter what, be sure to meet in real life.

Before your meeting, prep. Don’t go in cold, practice saying things out loud. You can be as simple as “I was offered another opportunity that is a good move for my career. My last day will be [insert last day]. I appreciated my time and growth here.” Assertive and positive. There’s no reason to mention where you’re going (they’ll ask, probably, but you don’t have to offer it!) or why you’re leaving (again, they might ask, you do not need to dig into your why at all).

Something else to consider: is there anything that would make you stay? I’ve seen some pretty magical Hail Mary plays in the last hours by companies when people resign. This is why the first point is to decide you’re saying yes, say yes, and sign that yes – if there is something that might be said as a lure to get you to stay, know how you’ll respond.

A client of mine had this exact thing happen – he got a job he was excited about, set up a meeting to tell his boss and his boss offered him a considerable raise. Lucky for my client, we discussed what would make him stay, and he concluded that nothing would – he wanted a new field. He politely declined and is happy in his new job.

After your meeting, send a follow up with your last day – keep it in writing!

Wrap it Up and Say Bye!

Do your best to wrap up tasks in your last few days. Don’t start fires, and do what you can to make it work for the next person.

Oh, and don’t forget to say goodbye.

Also – CONGRATS! Enjoy your new job!


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