How to Quit Your Job

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House

There are many reasons you might want to quit your job. It is always a good idea to follow the proper procedures so that you can rely on a good reference from your current employer. Although changing places of employment isn’t always easy, addressing these questions will make the transition of quitting your job easier.

how to quit a job
Image credit: arka38/Shutterstock
  1. Do you have another job lined up or a pending job-offer?

    If you have another job in place, compare the pros and cons of each job to make sure you really want to make the change. If you do have a new job but are unsure if it will be a good fit, ask if you can shadow an employee for a day to get a better understanding of what the job will be like.

    If you don’t have another job, it’s probably a good idea to keep your current job and start looking for a new job before you hastily leave your current position.

    If you flat-out hate your job and need out as soon as possible, you might consider setting up a side hustle or accepting a temporary position through a temp agency.

    It can take several months to find a new job. Be sure you really want to quit and are financially prepared for a significant period without income.

  2. Do you plan to give adequate notice?

    Most employers expect at least two-weeks notice when you are leaving to give them time to find a replacement. If your employer asks you to stay longer than an agreed upon period, do not feel pressured. Be firm about your end date.

    Keep in mind, some contracted employees may need to complete the time specified in the contract. If you breach your contract you may be liable for punitive damages.

  3. Are you going to write a letter of resignation?

    If you plan to formally resign, consider writing a letter of resignation and personally deliver it to your supervisor or boss.

  4. What do you plan to say to your boss?

    Don’t be angry or negative. Explain how the company has helped you and that it is just time for a change in your career. Ask your supervisor or boss to write you a letter of recommendation. Remember to stay positive.

  5. Will you participate in an exit interview?

    If you follow all the proper procedures, some employers may ask you to participate in an exit interview. This interview is similar to the hiring interview. You may be asked questions related to why you want to leave, how you think they could improve their company for future employees, or what you liked about working there.At the exit interview, you will usually be asked to return all company belongs in your possession (if applicable). Be prepared to submit any property belonging to the company.

  6. Do you have unused paid-time-off, pension, or 401(k)?

    If you have unused paid-time-off, consider using all of it before your exit. Or, you can ask if it’s possible to cash out the unused time on your last paycheck.
    If you have a 401(k) or other pension, make sure you can roll it over to your new employer or private plan.

If you cash out your pension or 401(k) early, you will be penalized and may potentially lose a large amount of money.