How to Quit a Job in 5 Simple Steps

So you want to quit your job, eh? I can relate. I hate jobs. But enough about me. Whether you want to avoid conflict or just want to do it right, here’s how to quit a job in 5 simple steps.

How to quit a job: The quit

Step 5. The actual quitting

You’ve decided to quit. You’ve kept your mouth shut about it told none of your co-workers. Now the actual how to quit a job part. If you’re going submit a notice (the safest play for your career) have it in writing. I don’t care how “cool” you and your boss are. Your letter can be pretty basic. Something to the effect of, “This letter serves as my two-weeks notice that I will resign from x-company at y-date. Thanks for the wonderful memories.” Sign and date.Cat writing resignation letter

Be concise and be ready for questions. Remember, your boss should be the very first person to hear about this at your office. Your co-workers shouldn’t know, and all of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers shouldn’t be in the know already. The few times I’ve quit a job, I’ve been honest with my manager if they have questions, but you can keep it vague with timeless phrases like, “I’m leaving for an opportunity that I think will expand my career,” or something to that effect.

You’re probably not the first person to resign on your boss, so there shouldn’t be much shock and weeping involved. He/she will probably transition into the transition. That is, training your replacement. Be courteous and accommodating while training the new “you” for the same reasons you submitted a notice: there is no good use for enemies.

Yes, this article is out of order, because you probably came for step 5. However, I would definitely not overlook steps 1-4.

How to quit a job: The pre-quit

Step 1. Decide

Do not overlook the importance of this. Nothing happens in life until you decide. Action follows. Don’t sit around, miserable at your desk, waiting for your job to quit you. It won’t happen. Decide that you are quitting. Make up your mind that this is it. You are quitting. Be certain you are fully committed because once you speak up, you can’t take it back.

Step 2. Be discreet

Once you decide, you should probably start looking for another job. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t tell your co-workers. Even disgruntled colleagues. They may badmouth the boss to you, but they also might believe spilling the beans on your job-hunt could get them that promotion they’ve been griping about. Office politics are petty, don’t tangle yourself in someone else’s ladder-climb by needlessly exposing yourself.

Step 3. Plan ahead

Just because you’ve decided, it doesn’t mean you should be out of the door immediately. Consider a couple things before you make that march up to your boss’s office.

  • Do you want to submit a notice? Two-week notices generally aren’t required, but they are good etiquette. If you want to continue to work in your niche, remember the world is a small place and it would serve you best to not burn bridges you could avoid scorching.
  • Do you need an offer in hand? If you are capable of stomaching another couple weeks with your current employer, it would behoove you to put your resume out and see if you can get an offer before you quit. Having interviews lined up does not count. I had a friend who left his job when he had two interviews lined up and planned to accept “whichever offer is better.” Neither interview resulted in an offer. Whoops.
  • Every “quit my job” article says this but I must as well: Have a couple dollars in the bank. Some people say 6 months worth of expenses. I don’t think that’s necessary unless you absolutely won’t compromise your exact lifestyle even without income. When I quit my job with no plan-B I simply reduced my expenses. You’d be surprised how much you can save by cancelling all subscriptions services (Netflix, Hulu, Xbox Live, Audible, Cable TV, etc.).

Step 4. Clean your PC and desk

Generally, IT just wipes your device. But to be safe, get all of your personal junk off your work computer and out of your desk before you have the talk with your boss. However you want to handle that. Hard drive, cloud, reimage, etc. Don’t steal any company-owned data. You want the funny memes and pictures you’ve saved to your device, not a lawsuit.

There you have it. How to quit a job in 5 simple steps. I hope that when you leave your role, you don’t simply step into another job that leaves you unfulfilled. I hope you quit to pursue your passion in some fashion; whether you start your own business or leave to take a position that allows you more personal freedom. It is my belief that the faster you exit the rat race, the faster your arrival at happiness.

Step 6. (Secret Bonus Step) Jump on your Harley and ride into the sunset.


About the author

Kyle Milligan

I'm Kyle Milligan. I really enjoy writing. I wrote a couple novels (The Hang-Ups and Hangovers series) and now I blog frequently on a bunch of different websites. I also enjoy lifting heavy things and and writing about it.

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