So you want to quit your job? You might have better employment opportunities elsewhere, you could need to relocate for family reasons, or perhaps you want to become self-employed or go back to school full time. Whatever your reason may be to quit your job, it is important to handle your exit well. Establish a strategy that is a win-win for your employer and for yourself. Even if you are absolutely ready to be done with your current job, mad at your boss, or tired of your coworkers, it is advantageous for you to quit with class.
First of all, plan ahead. Don't make a rash decision. Instead, take your time developing your reasons for quitting. Changing careers is a significant choice, and you want to be sure that it is indeed the right path for you. Consider your long-term goals as well as your short-term ambitions. Would quitting your job free you up to pursue your dreams, or would it hinder you significantly? How will you replace your income once you quit? Seek wise counsel from your family and trusted friends. Weigh their thoughts against your own. They are likely to contribute useful ideas, but be sure that you make the decision for yourself. It is not their life but your own, and you are the one to live with the consequences of your decision. So make the decision carefully and own it.
Once you have decided that quitting your job is indeed the best option, plan out the timing well so you do not leave your current employer in a pinch. Even if you are frustrated with him or her, do the classy thing and leave notice at an appropriate time. Two weeks is a reasonable amount of notice. It's enough time to allow your employer to advertise for and potentially hire a replacement for your position. Two weeks prior to your intended departure date, have a private meeting with your supervisor to disclose the news that you are moving on. Do not publicly announce anything about your quitting until this private discussion has taken place. Approach the meeting professionally and coolly. This is not your time to vent everything that you dislike about the company. It's not even a time to discuss all the great plans you have for your future. Keep it simple and positive. Communicate your intention to quit, state your departure date, briefly explain your plans, and then if you want to be especially classy, ask how you can be most helpful to your employer during your last two weeks.
During your last two weeks, it's okay to share your plans with coworkers, but do not cause a stir. Keep most of the details to yourself. Be on good terms with your supervisor because one day you may need a recommendation from him or her. You may run into each other at an event down the line. It's a small world, especially with Internet communication, so it is best for all concerned if you behave with courtesy and class to all. For a final touch, on your last day give your boss and/or coworkers thank you notes, highlighting what you enjoyed about working with them and thanking them for any help they may have given you. This is unique and appreciated, making your last impression excellent. Whenever and however you choose to quit your job, just add a touch of class and you'll be golden.
If you are considering quitting your job and are looking for inspiration, I recommend reading Leap of Faith: Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat by Ed Robinson. This is an engaging true story of a couple who quit jobs and lived their dreams. I hope you are inspired by it.
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