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How to Quit Your Job

Leaving a job on your own terms really is the sweetest feeling a professional can feel. Despite every bone in your body just aching to burst out of your seat and leave with your tall men blazing, you have to resist and maintain class. You never know who may be in a position to help you in your career down the road, and with a planned resignation usually suggesting that you now have a better option than your current post, you should plan and execute a graceful exit. Here are five suggestions on what you need to do to plan a successful resignation.

How to Quit Your Job (Photo: iStockphoto)

Give ample notice to your manager and employer
Two weeks is standard, but if you know you are leaving, it’s best to alert your direct manager as soon as you know something else has materialized. Put yourself in your boss’ shoes – if your analyst or associate quits on you, wouldn’t you appreciate excess notice? This will give your team time to process the shock of your departure and find a replacement sooner rather than later. You will very likely be asked to train the new you once they arrive, and so long as your schedule allows, you should oblige.

Transition your duties thoroughly
Ensure that the business you are leaving will continue on just fine without you by reviewing and documenting as many details as you can for your replacement. Being a professional throughout this part of your resignation process will reflect well on you and keep karma on your side.

Write a sincere resignation and thank you note
Compose a sincere and thoughtful resignation letter addressed to both your direct manager and the head of your group or business unit. Take the time to show appreciation for what you have learned and how the experience with that company has been integral to your career development. If you struggle with writing and cannot express yourself effectively, consider retaining a professional writer to put one together for you. Do not resign without penning a proper letter of resignation.

Gather contact information from everyone who has helped you
The professional world is constantly changing, and you really just never know who may be in a position to get you your next job, help you win your next deal or point you toward your next great opportunity. Solidify the bridges you have built with all of the co-workers you have interacted with by staying connected to them as much as possible.

Exit with grace
Finally, when the day comes to leave your job and complete your resignation, exit the premises with grace and class. Walk the entire floor and say goodbye to everyone around you, including, and especially, any of the assistants who have handled your expense reports, booked your travel or let that expensive dinner slide that one time on your behalf. Be remembered for the right reasons and your now-previous employer will forever be an asset.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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