5 Steps to Quitting Your Job on Good Terms

Many of us dream of finding a new job. Whether we want better hours, more pay, or some other benefit, the idea of leaving a job that doesn’t fit our needs can be exciting. However, you might regret it if you don’t quit your job on good terms. If you are thinking of making a change, here are some things to keep in mind so that you leave on as good of terms as possible.

Leaving Your Job in Five Simple Steps

1. Give Adequate Notice

The polite thing to do is still to give at least a two week notice when you quit a job. Providing more notice than two weeks is even better, although your employer may not choose to use the whole time. If you think that an offer might require to leave your current job suddenly, you can let your boss know that you are looking for a new job. However, job hunting on company time is frowned upon and may put your current job at risk.


Photo by Tobias Wolter via Wikimedia Commons

2. Resign in Person

While it can be difficult to have this discussion, you should resign in person. Let your boss be the first one to know, too. Think about what you will say ahead of time, so you aren’t scrambling during the meeting. Your boss might want to know why you are leaving, so you should be prepared with an honest answer. Most supervisors will appreciate that you had the courtesy to resign in person. You might be required to write a resignation letter for reasons of company policy. Keep it short, to the point and gracious.

3. Show Appreciation

Express your appreciation for the company, your boss, and your coworkers. Be gracious about leaving, and make sure that others know that you will carry fond memories with you into your new job. Don’t say rude things about others, or complain about the company. You want to leave in a way that would allow your employer and coworkers to welcome you back happily if you decided that returning was an option later on. Burning a bridge is one of the most common mistakes disgruntled employees make when they leave a job. It may not affect you today, but what if you leave this new job in the future for another role? You never know who the hiring manager at a new company will be. Keep up your reputation to avoid hiring issues in the future.

4. Work Hard Up to the End

Do your best to tie up loose ends before you go, and give your all. Showing that you are still willing to be a good worker, and that you want the company to succeed without you, will go a long way toward helping you leave on good terms. If you are asked to train your replacement, accept graciously, and let your successor know what he or she needs to do well and help the rest of the team. Leaving on a high note will ensure that you have contacts you can network with later, and a reasonably happy boss who won’t hesitate to recommend you down the road.

5. Keep in Touch

Remember to keep in touch with people from your old job. Connect with them on professional networkings sites such as LinkedIn. You don’t have to be best buddies, but you can check in every once in awhile to see how things are going. This will help you keep your network fresh, and show that you still care. Be willing to offer appropriate help and advice, and be a part of former coworkers’ networking efforts. The good karma will come back to help you later on should you need to use your professional network to advance your career.

About the Author

By , on Jun 1, 2011
Miranda Marquit
Miranda is a professional personal finance journalist. She is a contributor for several personal finance web sites. Her work has been mentioned in and linked to from, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. She also has her own personal finance blog: Planting Money Seeds.

Leave Your Comment (One Comment)

  1. Thanks for the post Miranda! This is really good information, and leaving a company on a good note is essential to future success.

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