The Etiquette of Quitting
So you have had enough of your micromanaging boss, nosy coworkers and horrible salary and got a great job offer thanks partly to an amazingly written resume. The only thing left to do is tell your boss and write your resignation letter.
Going to Interviews
If you’re actively going to interviews and looking for another job don’t tell anyone! This type of juicy gossip is like honey to a bee hive. Your coworkers will start talking and telling everyone and I guarantee this information will get to your boss.
Telling Your Boss
So what if your boss does find out. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship you have with your boss they should hear the news from you. You can be best buds or strangers who only say hi when you bump into them in the bathroom. It is respectful to tell them that you have planned to look for other work before they hear it from someone else. This will help you later in regards to a reference.
Ideally, the employer would love to find out that you are planning to leave as soon as possible. The recruitment process then can start and with any luck they will have someone to replace you before you have actually left so you can help train them.
The ideal scenario usually never happens and you should only tell your boss when you have already accepted another job. Accepted another job means that you have signed a new contract with a new company. It does not mean that talks are going well and you have a good feeling that your cousin put in a good word for you.
Two Weeks Notice
The standard two weeks notice is perfect. For safe measure you may want to read through your HR policies and procedures manual. You want to make sure your company doesn’t have a policy written on minimum requirements for notice of resignation. Some employers will expect three sometimes four weeks notice depending on the type of job you perform.
I don’t think there is a perfect day of the week to tell your boss you quit. I would suggest catching your boss in a good mood is important. You resigning should not be a shock to your boss but managers are people too and don’t like surprises especially costly ones like turn over. Catching them in a good mood will almost guarantee you a smooth transition to your next two weeks.
Writing the Letter
Your resignation letter should be short and sweet. You just want to thank your company and coworkers for helping you grow and develop skills that are now taking you further in your career. Here is a good example of resignation letter:
Dear Mr. X,
As of today, Monday November 14, 2010 I am providing you with two weeks notice of my resignation. It has been a pleasure working with everyone and I have certainly learned a lot in these past few years. It was a difficult decision to leave this company but I feel this is the right choice. Please let me know what I can do to make this transition easier on the team.
Thank you again and I hope our paths cross again,
It’s important to sound positive and even helpful in your resignation letter. This letter will most likely be the last thing in your file. You want to be professional all the way to the end. You do not want to write a novel about how horrible your boss was and how you would never ever work there again. Time heals all wounds. If you had issues with coworkers or even managers there usually forgotten over time. You may not work at the company anymore but you might work with the people again. You never want to burn your bridges.
Before You Leave
To be able to coast through the next few weeks you need to do a few things. Tell your boss that you have decided to leave and provide them with the resignation letter. The only difficult part of this time should be cleaning out that cubicle/office and perhaps attending many goodbye lunches.
Don’t forget to review your employee handbook! It is important to understand what your entitled to regarding benefits and compensation for unused sick or vacation days.
The photo above is one in a series of photos that a woman used to quit her job. I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you want to be internet famous. But it’s funny and worth looking at. You can see the rest of the photos here.
I would love to hear any experiences you’ve had quitting jobs both good and bad in the comments.