Career Development

A Guide to Quitting Your Current Job The Right Way

Many of us reach a point in our careers that we know it's time to move on from a job. Whether it's to pursue a new career opportunity, improve your salary or leave a dissatisfying position, it's essential to quit on as positive a note as possible.

With this guide, we hope to help you quit your job the right way. We’ll take you through all the steps to leave your employer with professionalism and a great impression and move on to your new job.

When to Quit 

When you’re dissatisfied with your current job, it can be very tempting to hand in your notice before you have a new job. However, most people would advise it’s much better to wait to quit a job until after you’ve safely secured another one. Although, there are some exceptions to this rule. To establish whether you can afford to leave your job before finding a new one, here are some questions you should ask yourself:

  • It can be challenging to find a new job fast, so it’s vital to ask yourself - How long would your financial resources last, before getting into difficulty?
  • Many employers don’t like to see a significant gap between jobs. If anything, they’re going to want to know: what happened with your last job? Can you tell explain the situation without it appearing as a negative part of your career history?
  • Being unemployed for an extended period can put stress on people’s health; how would you be able to cope with this?

Consider the answers to these questions. Prematurely leaving your job could carry too much risk. However, leaving your job to improve your mental or physical health can help you turn over a new leaf and may lead to new growth.

You need to settle on the choice that is appropriate for you. Choices made under pressure or tension don't generally have the best results, so it pays to take a step back and consider your options. 

Share the News 

When you have decided it’s time to quit, you must schedule a meeting with your manager to share the news. Work out a time of day that best fits into your manager’s diary. Mention that you want to schedule a one-on-one meeting at their earliest convenience.

Ensure you have a plan for all the details, such as preparing your explanation, so you articulate why you’re leaving. If you are going because you found a role that best fits your skillset and allows you to grow as the best version of yourself, ensure to share that feedback with your employer. However, no matter the circumstances of your exit from the company, thank your boss for all the reasons you have appreciated your time at the organisation. 

Template Resignation Letter 

After you've spoken with your manager, it's an opportunity to make your resignation official with a letter. A resignation letter should be brief and direct. Here is a layout you can adapt: 

Dear [Manager’s Name],

Please accept this letter as formal notification of my intention to resign from my position as [job title] with [company name]. In accordance with my notice period, my final day will be [date of last day].

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to have worked in the position for the past [time in employment]. I have learned a great deal during my time here and have enjoyed collaborating with my colleagues. I will take a lot of what I have learned with me in my career and look back at my time here as a valuable period of my professional life. 

During the next [notice period in weeks], I will do what I can to make the transition as smooth as possible and support in whatever way I can to hand over my duties to colleagues or my replacement. Please let me know if there is anything further I can do to assist in this process.

Best Wishes,

[Your Name]

Plan Your Notice Period

It’s easy to switch off in your final weeks at your job. However, plan to go out on a high note and leave a good lasting impression. This means being engaged, upholding your productivity, and providing your colleagues with the necessary information they need to continue with their work. 

Before you leave, prepare a transition document outlining the projects you’ve been working on. This should include key information, timelines and contact details. This will help others and is an effective way to transition out of a role without burning bridges.

Lastly, ask for references. It’s a good idea to build a network of positive references for your future. Building and maintaining professional relationships is a crucial element to career success.

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