Guidelines on How to Quit Your Job Responsibly


There are vital things to consider when you are about to quit your job. How do you go about resigning? What are the things you should not do when you are about to quit your job? These are relevant questions that must be satisfactorily answered before turning in your resignation email or letter.

How Not to Quit Your Job

Examples of how not to quit are:

  1. Quitting following a confrontation or heated argument with your boss
  2. Dropping a short note saying you quit (“I quit”) on the desk of your boss
  3. Suddenly stop showing up at work to stay at home or start a new job.

All three examples are crude, rude and not good!

Also read: How to Quit Your Job via a Phone Call

Quit Your Job the Right Way

As an employee, you are meant to quit your job exactly the same way you came in and according to the policy of the company that employed you. By doing this you would be quitting the job in a dignified way and maintaining your reputation. Before you resumed your job, you would have been given an employment letter or sent an email, therefore, the same ought to be done when quitting.

Many companies require the employee to give a month’s notice before quitting. This helps them with logistics. If the employee breaks this rule, he or she will be penalized, usually by making deductions from money due to the employee.

Also, remember that you will get a good reference by quitting gracefully. In other words, you are doing yourself a great favor by quitting your job with dignity and respect. Always endeavor to quit your job on a positive note rather than a negative one.

General Guidelines on How to Quit Your Job

Clean Up

Just after you have decided to quit, and you are sure there is no turning back, delete all personal details and files from the company computer(s) in your care. Forward all private messages in the inbox of the company email to your private email (if you do not already have them there). Then delete the emails from the company email. Ensure you have the contacts of everyone you intend to continue getting in touch with after you are gone.

The main reason for doing this even before turning in your resignation (which will have a notice) is that the management may decide to send you packing before the notice period is over.

You Feel So But Don’t Say So

Honestly, this part could be difficult, but please do it! Never put in writing how much you hated your job, your boss or the company. Even if you feel this way strongly and wish to let it all out before leaving the job, do not fall for the temptation. Whether you quit via an email or a handwritten letter, that document can work against you in the future. It will be stored in your folder and can be used to haunt you at the peak of your career. Therefore, having your say-so is not worth the trouble.

Give Notice, it’s the Right Thing

As much as it lies within you, give notice according to the company’s policy. This could be between two to four weeks. Leaving without notice even if you chose to forfeit any financial benefit is not a good career decision. If there are strong reasons why you have to leave without notice, make these clear in your resignation email or letter, with apologies. A better option is to find out if it is possible to leave without notice, before turning in your resignation.

Submit a Resignation Letter or Email

It is extremely important that you put your resignation in writing. You may hand over a resignation letter or send your resignation via email. It is also possible to resign even via a phone call. Whatever method you use, ensure you do it the proper way.

It is best to get down to it. There is no need for so many details, just mention your reason for leaving, and when you would be leaving. Your reason may range from personal, to going back to school, relocation and other circumstances.

Know Your Benefits

Find out from the human resources manager or your immediate superior the benefits you are entitled to. Naturally, it is expected that all your benefits should be duly sorted out. But do not sit back and relax, ensure you get everything that is yours.

Stay Positive

No matter the reason why you have decided to “call it quit”, stay positive. Do not poison the minds of the other employees. Many of them would like to know why you are quitting. They may even feel inspired by your move. However, ensure you keep whatever bitterness you have towards your boss or the company or your work to yourself. Let your reason be that it is time to move on. Talk more of how the company has benefited you. Leave the company on a good note. It is better you are remembered in a positive way, than a negative one.

Say Little About Your New Job

If you are taking up an offer from another company, give little or no details about it in your resignation letter or email, or boast about it to your colleagues.

Help with the Transition Process

Ensure you assist whoever is taking your position to settle in well. This is if the company has already hired someone before your notice expires. Handover properly – ensure that the company will have no need to call you back to put anything in order. Some companies may not require doing all these. If this is the case, offer to help out. If they agree, that is fine, if they do not, you still have nothing to lose.

The Final Goodbyes

Be courteous enough to send a goodbye message to your colleagues via email. In this email, you can be more detailed about your move. You may reveal the company you are moving to, your new position or if you are still doing a job search. Do not take your colleagues for granted, you may need their help in the future. Also, remember to put your contact in the farewell email.

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