How to Professionally Leave Your Job

If the Great Resignation taught us anything, it’s that there’s a right way, and a wrong way, to go about quitting your job.

We’ve all been there before and fantasized about the very day: up and quitting on the spot and, in that overdramatized, mic drop moment, exclaiming, “Take this job and shove it!” to your soon-to-be ex-boss. Then, after the most impulsive, grand exit out the door ever witnessed in a modern-day workplace, gloating about it all over social media for days (or weeks, or months) on end.

It’s a one-way fast track to burning bridges with your now former employer. Choosing to leave your job on bad terms — especially when you’re in total control to act otherwise — can hurt you and your career in untold ways and serves absolutely no constructive purpose whatsoever.

Transparency and empathy are two of Turn2Partners’ core values — and a pair of qualities that we encourage anyone to inhabit if the time has come to move on from your job and embrace a new career opportunity. How you choose to deliver the messaging can make all the difference in retaining references, being remembered as a professional … and even remaining re-employable.

Here are some tips for quitting a job with grace, poise, smarts, and most importantly, professionalism.

Write a Thoughtful Resignation Letter (And Don’t Forget To Give Two Weeks’ Notice)

There are many approaches to crafting a resignation letter, but the best course of action is to keep it concise, simple and straightforward, stating that you’ll be resigning from your position and on which date.

Giving at least a two-week notice period from the day you submit your resignation aligns with standard professional etiquette. This enables your employer enough time to begin looking for your successor and find a potential replacement. 

An overly lengthy or sentimental-sounding resignation letter isn’t necessary in this case, but feel free to take the opportunity to thank your employer for everything you’ve learned in the role, and/or what you’ve enjoyed most about your time with them. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Conveying honest appreciation reaffirms the value you hold for your employer in spite of your decision to part ways with them.

Avoid “Quiet Quitting” Before You Actually Quit

“Quiet quitting” is a social media-driven phenomenon that’s the newest (and frankly, most problematic) workplace trend of employees doing the bare minimum in their duties, never going above and beyond the most basic and essential of job functions. 

While it’s tempting to purposefully (or even subconsciously) coast along in your remaining two weeks, make it a point to carry out and fulfill your longstanding responsibilities right to the very end, even if you don’t see certain projects through to completion. 

This might initially seem somewhat counterintuitive; after all, making it a point to excel in your job during the home stretch to the finish line might make one reconsider their decision to leave for that dream gig. But doing so is the mark of a consummate professional and leaves the best possible impression on your colleagues.

Pass the Torch

Take your commitment to your craft in your final two weeks one step further by offering to train your potential replacement. It doesn’t matter if one is hired or not during that time. By expressing openness to hand over your responsibilities to them, with guidance from the person who knows the job best, you illustrate a non-possessive respect for the role.

How should you go about establishing a transition plan? You might mention in your resignation letter just that: you’re happy to train or assist your successor in any way possible to make the switchover easier for the company. Or, you could let your direct supervisor(s) know verbally or through a follow-up email.

Take the High Road

As one door closes, another opens, but as you finish your last day, leave that door ajar. Quitting your job shouldn’t mean goodbye forever. At this time, it’s appropriate — and recommended, really — to ask for references from trusted colleagues, and obtain email and contact information to stay in touch. You never know when you may cross paths again. Always speak of your former employer in a glowing light, both verbally and in online reviews (think Indeed or Glassdoor). 

Need more guidance or career advice? Whether you’re on the job hunt, looking for tips on improving your resume, or just expanding your professional network, turn to Turn2Partners as a number one recruitment source to set yourself up for seamless success. Browse our current openings today to find a job you’ll love.