People leave their jobs for a variety of reasons. An opportunity more in line with career goals. Better pay. Shorter commute. But sometimes people leave because of difficult managers or colleagues, feelings of not being valued or appreciated, or being passed over for raises and promotions. Regardless of the reasons for leaving a job, quitting should be done with respect and professionalism, even if the employer doesn’t deserve it.
Review your HR documentation for policies regarding resignation. When you took your job, odds are you were given a manual or training regarding employment policies. Review this information to determine the amount of notice and any additional terms you need to give your boss before quitting.
Write a letter of resignation, but deliver the news in person. Regardless of the relationship you have with your employer and managers, they deserve to hear about your leaving in person, not through the grapevine. Telling your supervisors in person can prevent ill-will and avoids them getting the wrong information about why you’re leaving.
Give your boss adequate notice to fill your position. In this economy, you might think it will be fast and easy to hire for your job. But even when there are lots of candidates, it takes time to hire. Your boss needs to pull out the job description, advertise, weed through resumes, interview and hire someone new. If these tasks are done by a committee, it can take even longer.
Finish up current projects. Leaving work unfinished is unprofessional. If you’re angry at your boss and feeling “done” with the job, remember that leaving work behind is more likely to hurt and annoy your colleagues or the new hire who will be the ones who have to finish what you started. Your commitment to your work doesn’t end when you give your resignation, it ends when you leave the job.
Train or leave behind information to help your replacement. You’ll make the transition easier not just for your boss and your colleagues, but also for the new hire if you personally train or leave behind a list of steps and things to know.
Don’t gloat. Even if you have a better job or are the one who’s able to escape a bad job, gloating only creates ill-will and could follow you into a new job.
Be positive. Instead of gloating, try to stay positive about your work, colleagues or other aspects of your job that you can be positive about. This will make your last days go by quicker and with less resentment. Being positive includes not posting negative comments on social media, which will likely get read and undermine any efforts to avoid angst during your last days on the job.