ll archives: How to Quit a Job the Right Way

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I’m sure that most of us out there have left a job at some point during our lives for a myriad of reasons. Whether good (like you're making the leap into entrepreneurship!) or bad, the important thing to remember is that how you leave a job is just as important as how you start. You wouldn’t start a job with a negative experience, so you shouldn’t leave one that way either. As a business owner and a person that hires (and fires!) people often, I have realized that perhaps there needs to be a little re-education on how to properly leave a job. I’ve written about how to fire someone, but this time the table is turned. How do you properly leave a job?

Communicate & be Specific

Communicate, communicate, communicate! People don’t communicate anymore. They make up a story in their heads, never talk to anyone about it and then when nothing changes, they blame other people. What kind of sense does that make?

If you have frustrations at your job, have you communicated them to your supervisor to try and find a solution? If you aren’t making enough money, have you asked for a raise? And when I say asked for a raise, I don’t mean complained to colleagues about how you’re not getting paid enough. I mean:

  • Have you asked for a meeting with your supervisor?
  • Presented them with a list of accomplishments you have had and then made a clear request for the amount you would like to be paid?

If not, you’re not ready to quit, you’re just a complainer. People can’t read your mind. You have to ask for what you want.

Think about why you are leaving the job. Is it because your skills aren’t being developed or challenged anymore? Is it not the position you thought it was? You’re not making enough money? You don’t get along with the other team members? You just don’t like it anymore? Be honest.

Once you have a solid reason to leave, take a moment to consider if it can be changed. Have you made an effort to change it? Most bosses are appreciative when employees come to them and communicate challenges and welcome the chance to address them.

But remember, the best way to get what you want is to provide value for the other person. Show them why it is a win-win for both of you.

Follow Through

I’ve had people come into my office and ask me for something related to their job – a different schedule, more money, time off, etc. Based upon their requests, I sometimes ask for things in return – how much money specifically do you want to make? What does a more flexible schedule look like?

75% of the time, I get no response. Nothing. I’m not the one asking for something here – you are – if you don’t care enough to follow up on what you have been asked to provide, then why would I?

Give Proper Notice

This goes without saying but, sadly, it must be addressed. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t call out sick for two days and then on day three, send a text that you quit. That is not communicating (see Rule #1).
  • Don't just not show up to work one day. It’s unprofessional, immature and highly insensitive to not give proper notice.

You don’t work in a bubble, your actions affect others. Think about this before making any rash decisions. At the end, that’s all that people will remember about you – your selfishness and unprofessionalism.

You are responsible for your actions. Think about how you want to be perceived professionally and remember that how you leave a job is as much of a reflection on your character as your initial job interview.