The decision of quitting your job is usually a tough one. It can be a major change for your life, your career, and your family. And because quitting a job usually stems from unhappiness, dissatisfaction or other negative emotions, it can be easy to leave in an impulsive and angry manner.
But in a world where reputation is an important factor when looking for work, it helps to be professional even under pressure. It’s best to be smart about the way you quit your job, if you don’t want it to affect your future job prospects. Follow our tips below to leave your job the right way.
Be Candid, but be Professional
People usually quit their jobs for two reasons. First, you found a better opportunity somewhere else; telling your employer about this shouldn’t be too hard to do.
But the second reason, unhappiness, is much more complicated. The key is to be direct about your feelings. Explain why you’re unhappy, but don’t be too critical. If your employer wants to do something to keep you from leaving, then yes, enumerate your grievances. But if you’ve already made up your mind about leaving, it’s best to stay positive and say you’re better off quitting.
Do It Gracefully
As tempting as it is, don’t do a Jerry Maguire when leaving your job. Your professional relationships are an important bargaining chip when looking for your next job — keep them intact.
Wrap up your projects, let your officemates know you’re resigning, and leave with class and dignity. Don’t give people a reason to say anything bad about you. And once you’ve found a new great job, send a nice email to your old bosses and colleagues to let them know you appreciate all their help.
Do you have to mean all those kind words? That’s really up to you. Just remember that it helps to be in good standing with your old colleagues and bosses, even if you’re not exactly fond of them.
Be Ready for What Happens Next
The last thing you want is to quit your job only to find out you can’t work for a new company legally because your contract states so. This is especially common in competitive industries where talent is in demand.
Before you quit your job, make sure you review all paperwork you signed with your current employer. Watch out for non-compete clauses, which require you to avoid seeking employment with a competing firm, usually within 6 to 12 months after resigning.