How To Quit a Job the Right Way With Tips and FAQs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 October 2022

Published 27 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Throughout your career, you may decide to change your job role for various reasons. Whether you're pursuing a new position with a different company or taking time off to focus on your personal commitments, it's important to be professional and tactful when leaving your job. By leaving on good terms with your employer, manager and coworkers, you can make the transition easier for everyone.

In this article, we share the benefits of leaving your job gracefully, provide steps to help you quit your job the right way, list tips to make sure the process goes smoothly and answer some frequently asked questions about leaving a job.

Benefits of leaving your job the right way

Being tactful about how you leave your job can benefit you by:

  • Improving or maintaining your professional image

  • Retaining your professional contacts and references

  • Making the transition easier for coworkers and clients

  • Keeping opportunities to work for the same company in the future open

  • Minimising stress during your transition out of the company

  • Ensuring you have all the resources and information you need before you leave

Related: 18 Reasons Why Quitting without Another Job May Be Beneficial

How to quit a job the right way

In formulating a plan on how to quit a job, it's critical to understand that people may leave their positions for a variety of reasons. For example, they may have accepted a new job opportunity with another company, or they may be preparing to retire. Regardless of your reason for leaving your job, there are some steps you can take to notify your employer the right way. Here are some tips to help you gracefully leave your current job:

1. Be thoughtful about your decision

Before you announce your departure, take the time to carefully consider why, when and how you plan to leave your job. You can make a pros and cons list about leaving your current role to assess the situation, or have a conversation with your direct supervisor to discuss potential opportunities for change.

If you're still looking for a position with another company, it may be best to wait until you've officially accepted another job offer before you resign from your current position. This can help you avoid a gap in your employment and maintain financial stability. Having a job can also help you negotiate your potential salary with hiring managers at other companies.

Related: What Is an Employment Contract?

2. Give at least two weeks' notice

While providing your employer with two weeks' notice is standard in most industries, the more time you can allocate for the transition, the easier it may be for you and your team. If you've signed an employment contract, review this document to make sure you're aware of any rules about how much time to give your employer when you put in your notice. This can help you ensure everyone's in agreement about your final date of employment.

Read more:

  • What Is a Notice Period?

  • How to Write a Resignation Letter With a One-Month Notice Period

3. Craft a professional letter of resignation

Submitting a professional letter of resignation can help you ensure your employer and HR department have recorded when your employment with their organisation may end. Keep your letter of resignation brief and respectful. Some common elements professionals typically include in a resignation letter are:

  • Date of the last day of employment

  • Notice of resignation from the company

  • Next steps and other important information

  • Statement of gratitude for the work opportunity

  • Professional closing and signature

Read more: How To Write a Resignation Letter (With Template, Samples and Tips)

4. Provide feedback about why you're leaving

Although you may not be required to share why you're leaving your job, providing constructive feedback can help your manager, employer and other leaders in the company improve. Consider having a conversation with your supervisor or HR manager to share your experience working at the company and what prompted your decision to leave. You can also share feedback about your salary and benefits, work culture and company policies.

Take the time to write down some notes before your meeting, so you can reference them throughout your discussion, and try to keep a positive overall tone. Being honest and professional can help you improve the company for other employees.

5. Schedule a meeting with an HR representative or supervisor

Taking the time to meet with an HR representative or your supervisor before you leave the company can help you ensure you have all the information you need about your employee benefits and last paycheck. They may also have paperwork for you to complete as part of your exit interview. You can create a list of questions you have before your meeting to keep the conversation short and productive.

6. Transfer work to other employees

Use the remainder of your time at work to complete any open projects, train your replacement and transfer tasks to other employees. Work closely with your supervisor to determine who is the best person to take over each of your key responsibilities and any work you won't have time to finish before you leave the company. You can create guidelines for your coworkers by documenting your daily responsibilities, where you've saved important files and any other information that may be helpful. This can make your transition easier and provide your team with the resources to be successful.

7. Express your gratitude for the opportunity

Finally, leave on a positive note by expressing your gratitude for the opportunity to work for the company. You might reflect on the skills you learned, large projects you've worked on or your professional accomplishments. Make an effort to personally say goodbye to any coworkers or supervisors you're close with to maintain professional relationships with them in the future. This can help you grow your network and may result in new opportunities in the future.

Related: How To Deliver a Farewell Message To a Coworker (With Examples)

Tips for leaving your job

Here are some additional tips that can help you resign from your job tactfully:

  • Create a to-do list. Depending on your role, you might have several tasks to complete before your last day, such as transferring projects and returning work equipment. Writing down the most important tasks and ordering them by priority can help you stay focused and organised throughout your departure.

  • Be professional. Try to maintain a positive attitude to leave on good terms with your employer and coworkers. Thank them for the opportunity to work together and wish them the best.

  • Ask for a reference. Before you leave, consider asking your employer, supervisor, HR manager or colleagues to write you a reference letter. It's often easier for professionals to write reference letters for people they've recently worked with.

  • Make sure you really want to quit. Before you notify your boss or your team that you're leaving, make sure you're fully committed to your decision. Taking the time to assess your personal, professional and financial goals can help you determine whether you're making the right decision.

FAQs about quitting a job

Here are some answers to the frequently asked questions about leaving a job:

How can I politely quit my job?

Notify your employer as soon as possible to provide them with an adequate amount of time to plan for your departure. When you meet with your supervisor, HR representative or employer, make sure you express your gratitude for the professional development opportunities you've had while working with them. You might also consider sending your employer a thank-you note and acknowledging coworkers who have supported you throughout your career.

What should I say when quitting my job?

Prepare the key topics you want to address in advance to ensure you relay all the important information during your conversation. This can help you build your confidence and make it easier to share your reasons for leaving with your supervisor or employer. Be honest, but try to keep your tone positive and avoid going into unnecessary detail. Let your employer know when your last day may be, and be prepared to negotiate if they offer you a pay raise or additional benefits to keep you on board.

Related: How to Deliver a Farewell Message to a Coworker (With Examples)

How can I quit my job immediately?

While employers typically appreciate receiving at least two weeks' notice, there are some circumstances that may require you to leave your job immediately. Notify your manager and employer as soon as possible. Then, write a short notice resignation letter that includes your job title, your official resignation date and a brief reason for leaving. Maintain a professional tone throughout your resignation letter to leave on the best terms possible.

Related: How to Write a Resignation Letter With Immediate Effect (With Example)

While telling your boss that you're leaving may sound challenging, there are some steps you can take to communicate your decision effectively. Schedule a one-on-one meeting, so you can have a conversation in person before submitting your official letter. Provide your employer with a timeline for your departure to ensure they have enough time to prepare to fill your role. You may also offer to facilitate the position transfer by training your replacement if time allows. Offering to help make the transition smooth can help you maintain a good relationship with your employer even after you leave.

Related: How to Tell Your Boss You Quit (With Tips and Example)

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