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How to quit job on a good note? The dos and don’ts

by Aripriya Basu August 7, 2020
quit job - dos and donts

Ever wanted to just walk into your boss’ office and say “I quit” and then moonwalk out of the door?

Sounds super dramatic, right?

But, unfortunately, this does not happen in real life. Getting a job and leaving the same involves a few dos and don’t, and saying “I quit” is not enough.

So, if you are indeed planning to quit job, here is a list of do’s and don’t that can help you.

Serve a notice period

Even if you have a better job waiting for you, it’s important to serve a notice before you quit job.

Of course, there might have been issues in your workplace. Maybe your relationship with the management is strained, but serving a notice period is an ethic.

It must not be overlooked.

A minimum of a two-week notice before you quit job is essential. Plus, if your schedule permits, work a few days longer to ensure a smooth transition of duty.

During your notice period, the company can hire another person to fill in your shoes.

Leaving them to sink is not an ideal way to go about.

Don’t mix up reasons

“Why do you want to quit job?”

This is one question your colleagues will ask you as soon as you submit your papers.

Of course, you may choose not to answer this question. But in case you do, stick to one reason.

Do not offer different explanations to different people.

People in an organization talk. Sooner or later they will find out your reason to quit job. So why come across as a cheat in the last few days in the firm?

Clean up your system

Your employer may choose to let you go right after you turn the papers. But, before you leave the organization, make sure to clean your desktop or laptop.

Clear all personal files, images, and emails loaded in your system. If you decide to quit job, you cannot simply walk away with all your belongings and data lying in your cubicle.

Take some time out to clean everything before you leave.

However, just because you are to quit job does not mean you won’t contact your colleagues or even your employer. Thus, jot down their contact details so that you can reach out to them from time to time.

Don’t vent out in writing

Deciding on what to say when quitting a job is tricky. You may hate your job or might have had a fallout with the management. Maybe your employer gave you a hard time.

No matter whatever was the reason for you to quit job, do not put that in writing.

Remember that your resignation letter will be placed in your employment file and it may come back years later to torment you. Why harbor such ill feelings when you have decided to quit job and move on anyway?

Of course, that does not mean you do not let your employers know your problems. However, talk about it and clear the air. Don’t write an in-depth criticism report.

Do offer help

No matter which role or position you worked in, always remember that your work is important. That is why the company decided to fill up that post.

It is wrong to assume that anyone can walk right up and get a hang of your work. Even when you decide to quit job, don’t malign or look down upon your role.

It would perhaps take time for the organization to find someone matching your skillset to refill that position. In the meanwhile offer to help with the transition.

Though your offer might be turned down, you will earn appreciation and that is worth it.

You have decided to quit job anyway, why not bag some good moments to cherish later?

Don’t brag

Maybe you have got an offer from one of the top companies in the country. Why brag about it in front of your colleagues or managers?

If you quit job, your soon-to-be-ex-colleagues should remember you in a good way and not as a showoff.

You might be excited about the new offer and looking forward to it. But your ex-organization is not the ideal place to honk about it.

Do seek for reference

There is nothing wrong with asking for a reference if you quit the job.

Ask for LinkedIn recommendations from your colleagues and managers. Also, request them to write a recommendation letter or answer a call or two when required.

LinkedIn recommendations are crucial especially if you are actively applying for jobs.

Do keep the exit interview brief

When you decide to quit job, be prepared for an exit interview. Most of these interviews are hosted by HR or the team lead. The cause of quitting is addressed.

Do not treat this question as a chance for you to rant about the company.

Don’t suggest numerous changes.

Keep it brief, crisp, and most importantly polite.

Just saying that you have found (or looking) for a job that aligns with your career goals should be enough to close the exit interview.

Don’t be negative

When you tell your colleagues that you are quitting they will be curious.

Do not spread negativity about the firm. Even if you have a glitch with the management, your colleagues need not know about it.

Instead, focus on the things that you learned in the firm. Of course, slip it into the conversation.

Don’t say “ I am leaving the company, but it taught me so much”.

Don’t quit over an email

You did not join the firm over an email did you, why quit over one?

If you decide to quit job over a weekend, sending an email to that end is not ethical.

Similarly, shunning all communication with the organization is a strict no-no.

You might be bent out of shape owing to work pressure or some problems with your employer. But nothing justifies sending a resignation email and refusing to serve a notice.

Quitting a job is a part of one’s career growth. No organization expects you to continue working with them forever.

However, it does not imply that you block all forms of communication with your previous organization.

Even though you may not accept, your organization has played a key role in your career development, thus leaving it on a positive note is worth it.


How to quit job on a positive note?

If you plan to quit job, then it’s important to let the firm know at least two weeks beforehand. Additionally, offer to help with the smooth transition of duties. Many a time employees spread negativity about the firm. This approach should be unfollowed. Finally, bidding farewell with a polite goodbye is all that is required to end ties with the firm on a positive note.

What not to say during an exit interview?

Generally, when an employee submits the resignation, the HR or the team lead hosts an exit interview. The employee is asked what problem he/she is facing. More specifically, why they have decided to quit job. One must not badmouth any employee, manager, organization, or management during this time. The reason to quit job must be stated in simple terms. Additionally, the entire interview should be kept brief, at least from the employee’s end.

How should you tell your boss that you plan to quit job?

It is always advisable to have a face-to-face conversation with your boss or employer to inform them that you are quitting. The discussion must be short and specific. You must also thank the employer for providing you with the opportunity and teaching you skills that would help you in your career.

Is it alright to resign over text?

No. It is never ideal to quit a job over an email or text. The process must always be face-to-face. Additionally, it’s important to give the firm enough time to help in the smooth transition of responsibility.