How to Quit Your Job Like a Pro

Knowing when and how to leave a company is an art in today’s economy. With constant change in many companies and in our lives, there’s always a cycle of beginning and ending. We love beginnings and the fresh energy that comes with them. We often hate endings and shy away from them, dealing with them only when forced to. But, the fact is that on the other side of every ending, no matter how scary it may feel, is a bright new beginning that can be just what is needed.

Even if you hate your job and can’t wait to get away, there’s almost always a feeling of loss from the separation. You just want it over with. However, you benefit yourself and others by bringing proper closure to your connection. Quitting well is an art, not a science. Taking the time to do it right can save you much regret later down the line.

Here are some ways to do it like a pro:

• Leave on the best possible terms: Your involvement with a company is part of your employment history. If you leave on good terms, you increase the chances of getting positive references for future employers or clients. Who knows, your former employer might be a client one day.

• Don’t try to resolve any negative emotions through the quitting process: You probably won’t get any lasting satisfaction from storming into your boss’ office and exclaiming, “I’m outta here!” Momentary pleasure, yes, lasting, no.

• Deal with any ill feelings through out-of-office means: Talk it out with a friend, take some time away, write a flame letter and then ball it up and throw it across the room. Your best revenge is leaving and being happier elsewhere.

• Show respect: Inform your direct manager before anyone else at work.

• Plan for individual partings: Ask those who have been most meaningful to you to meet one-on-one for lunch, dinner, over coffee, or otherwise. Just by asking, you’ve communicated how much you appreciate them, and they’ll likely make time for you.

• Make your last words count: Emphasize the positive when saying good-bye. Focus on something you appreciated about them and something positive about your future. Short and sweet works well and is memorable.

•Let people know how to get in touch with you: Give your contact information to those you want to stay in touch with. Be the first one to reach out and say hello once you’ve left.

Copyright (c) 2007 Mary Foley