How to Quit a Job

The average person in the United States will spend 8 years of their lives working. For many, quitting a job is not an easy choice to make – and for others it is practically impossible because there are no other opportunities in sight. But what should you do if you’re considering leaving your job? Here are five steps on how to quit without fear.,

The “how to quit a job without notice” is a question that has been asked many times. There are various ways to leave your current position without getting fired, including the option of quitting with no notice.

Men leaving job carrying box coworkers waving goodbye illustration.

It’s astonishing how worried a guy may get when he quits his work. Anxiety has a variety of causes:

  • Perhaps you’ve never really left a job. There was always a built-in exit for you. “Well, school has resumed, and I’ll be returning to college.”
  • Maybe you were just recruited a few months ago, and you don’t want to put them through the recruiting and training procedure all over again.
  • Maybe it’s a tiny firm, and you’ve worked there for a long time, and you feel like you’re abandoning your boss and coworkers.
  • Perhaps your employer is a despotic jerk (which is why you’re resigning! ), and you’re worried about how he’ll respond when you inform him.

Any way you look at it, when you leave a job, you’re effectively firing your boss. It’s similar to getting out of a relationship. There is a right and wrong way to break up with a girlfriend, just as there is a right and wrong way to break up with a boyfriend.

The improper method is to burn bridges and leave a sour taste in your mouth.

The proper approach to quit is to do so with grace and dignity, displaying that you are a man of worth and respect until your final day on the job.

Despite all of the hype about living in a worldwide culture, the working world is really rather limited. And you never know when you’ll be working with, requesting a favor of, or seeking a reference from a former employer or coworker, whether you’re leaving your present job for another firm or starting your own business. Don’t forget about the rumor mill. How you depart, particularly if it’s unpleasant, will undoubtedly reach a wider audience than simply people with whom you used to work. Indulging your short-term aspirations to Jerry Maguire your way out of a job might have long-term negative consequences.

Follow the steps below to resign a job while keeping your dignity and bridges intact. They’re based on research, personal experience, and an interview with Mugs Buckley, Vice President of Sales Development at Federated Media Publishing in San Francisco, who is a coworker of mine.

Wait. First, be certain you’re quitting at the appropriate time and for the appropriate reason.

Before we go into how to leave a job, make sure you’ve given careful consideration to why you’re leaving, and that the reason is a solid one. Mugs recommends that you ask yourself the following sensible question:

When individuals tell me they’re quitting a job, I always question whether they’re fleeing their present circumstance or fleeing to the one they’re thinking about. If they’re fleeing, I advise them to assess the benefits and drawbacks of the new scenario. What does the new job provide you that you don’t have in your present position? It may address a major grievance, such as pay, an unpleasant supervisor, or a job function they despise, but how much better is the new situation? If it’s much better, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of the new scenario, it seems to be a better situation than their existing one. Take a chance. However, if it resolves one major complaint while introducing a new one, it seems that the individual is more than likely substituting one issue for another. The ‘Running To’ responses are simple: accept the job. Before abandoning your present job, think about the answers to the ‘Running From’ questions.


In terms of time, I would add that I believe you should almost always have a definite offer in hand from a new workplace before quitting your current one. This also applies to quitting a job to establish your own company. Make sure you can demonstrate a three- to six-month income stream that you’re happy with. There are times when you simply have to throw caution to the wind and go for it, but that isn’t always the case, as much as individuals who despise their day jobs wish it were. I believe in moonlighting with your side business until it grows to the point where you can easily leave your day job. That is how I transitioned from a corporate employee to a full-time blogger.

Listen to our podcast to learn more about whether or not you should change careers: 


Have you made up your mind? How to Quit a Job: A Step-by-Step Guide

Two weeks’ notice is required. If your contract or business handbook does not indicate how much notice you must provide, two weeks is the industry norm. Your company will need time to digest your leave, begin searching for a replacement, and prepare for a seamless transition.

It’s true that if you submit your resignation to a large firm, you may be escorted out the door without warning. It’s also true that, although many firms request that you give them advance notice of your resignation, they won’t provide you the same courtesy when firing you. As a result, some people adopt the attitude of “F that!” I’m not obligated to them in any way! I’ll resign and leave the next day.”

Personally, I don’t allow others define my conduct or ideals. I treat others with the respect with which I would want to be treated, regardless of whether or not they reciprocate. My code does not use tit for tat. Even if your boss is a jerk and your firm is a slum, leaving ship without warning adds to the pressures of your coworkers, who will be scrambling to cover your tasks and find out how to tie up your loose ends. That is your responsibility, not theirs. So, if nothing else, give your two-week notice out of respect for your coworkers.

Before telling anybody else, inform your supervisor. No matter how much you trust your coworkers to keep a secret, don’t let it slip that you’re going to bounce by the watercooler. Also, avoid advertising things on social media before giving notice — in other words, don’t do it. These things always seem to find their way back to the top, and no one wants to hear about your leaving via the grapevine. And when you eventually tell him, you don’t want to hear him respond, “I know.” If you plan to leave, notify your direct supervisor first, then your coworkers.


Unless circumstances prevent it, always conduct the chat in person. “Deliver your news in person or over the phone,” Mugs recommends. If you work in the same office with your boss, it’s better to organize an in-person meeting to communicate your news. It’s preferable to converse over the phone if you don’t work in the same workplace. Unless circumstances prevent you from talking on the day you want to share your news, emailing them is a last option. But don’t be a coward and send them an email. “It’s always better to have a talk.” Breaking up with your employer through email is like breaking up with a decent guy via SMS.

Prepare yourself for the discussion. Before you meet with your supervisor to break the news, there are a few things you should consider.

Do you have a strategy in place to help you transition? Nobody understands better than you which tasks must be completed and which duties must be assumed. Bring a detailed transition plan to your boss’s office that you can discuss, as well as a commitment to play a hands-on role in a seamless handover.

What are your plans if they counteroffer? You should expect your supervisor to try to persuade you to remain by promising greater rewards or responsibility. To avoid being taken off guard, go through as many of these scenarios as you can before approaching him or her. Would you remain for $5,000 more? $10,000? Is it possible to extend your holiday by a week? You don’t want to be caught off guard and say yes because he’s being so sweet and giving, and you have a hard time saying no to people face to face. If there are conditions in which you would remain on, be very explicit about what has to change before you walk in, and don’t budge until those particular promises are met (and in writing). If nothing else works to persuade you, just tell your supervisor that you appreciate the offer but that the new chance is too good to pass up.

If you find yourself really considering the counteroffer, Mugs suggests considering the following points:

If your present company rejects your new offer and wants to retain you, you should revisit our first question: Are you racing to something or running away from something? Will they address your problem if they provide you more money in your existing condition, and how long will that please you? You’d also be dealing with rescinding an offer that you’d likely previously accepted if you’ve already committed to your new company. You must carefully evaluate your reputation. Countering a current offer seldom works in my experience unless the circumstance drastically changes, such as the job function, reporting structure, or remuneration. Is it worth destroying your reputation with your potential future employer, who would feel cheated since you squandered their time and effort? This is a high-stakes issue. Here’s where you should think twice about what you’re doing.


If asked, would you be willing to remain longer? Your supervisor may ask you to remain on for another week or two to assist with the final touches. Is this something you could do? Is that something you’re willing to do even if it is? Make sure you think about this question ahead of time so you don’t feel obligated to do anything in the heat of the moment.

Are you all set to return home today? Are you going to be able to grab all of your personal goods and get out of dodge if your employer informs you that you must leave immediately, or is your stuff strewn over the office? They may not allow you back in to collect whatever you forgot after you’ve passed through the exit doors.

Keep the dialogue brief and upbeat. Get straight to the point while speaking with your supervisor. You don’t have to skirt around the subject and have a ten-minute chit-chat beforehand. You also don’t have to go into detail about your new job. “It’s an offer I can’t refuse,” you may remark, “and I’m giving my notice effective immediately.”

It may be tempting to use the resigning discussion to vent all of your pent-up anger on your soon-to-be ex boss if you were miserable at work. This is clearly not a good idea. Instead, make an effort to communicate the news in a kind and polite manner. As Mugs suggests:

“Take a no-scorched-earth strategy. Even if you feel compelled to tell your boss anything, reserve it until it’s useful. You don’t have to scold anybody on your way out the door, whether it’s your boss or your coworkers. The world is too small, and you’ll almost certainly run across your boss and/or former coworkers again at some time in your career, and it’s better not to avoid them because you said hurtful things about them while you were angry. When talking about why you’re going, don’t get emotional.”

Thank your employer for the chance, and if she wonders why you’re leaving, just say something about how your new position matches better with your core interests than your present one. “I’ve always wanted to do more teaching, and that will be the majority of my obligations in my new work.” If you don’t have a good reason to provide (maybe you’re simply leaving because of your present company’s negative culture), tell your employer (and your coworkers) something positive and broad like, “I’m ready for a different sort of challenge” or “This is a better opportunity for me.”

Inquire about the finer points. “Find out about the employee perks and compensation you are entitled to get when leaving,” says Alison Doyle of Inquire about COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) health insurance continuation, collecting unused vacation and sick pay, and retaining, cashing in, or rolling over your 401K or other pension plan.”


Formalize your resignation by writing a letter. Although it isn’t needed at all employment, you will almost always be requested to submit a formal resignation letter after orally informing your manager of your decision. This letter will be kept for your and their records, so don’t write anything that might come back to bite you. Stick to the facts and keep it short and professional. There’s no need to provide reasons for your departure; merely announce that you’re going and when you’ll be back.

Do not become “trunky.” When I was on a two-year mission for my church, missionaries would often start to feel “trunky” — a phrase we used to describe symbolically packing one’s luggage and mentally checking out as they neared the end of their service.

Once you’ve given your two-week notice at a job, it’s easy to feel trunky. But it’s critical to stick it out and finish well. You want to depart on a positive note, not simply because your firm is still paying you. Although initial impressions are important, scientists have shown that individuals recall both the first and last parts of an experience– meaning your last two weeks will account for a large portion of what your former coworkers remember about you.

During the final two weeks, don’t start any new work and instead focus on tying up loose ends. Update your coworkers on any ongoing projects, where you left off with XYZ, and where they can locate your papers and data. Inquire about how you may assist them with their transition. Leave the firm in the best possible condition. Make them sorry to see you depart, yet hopeful that you’ll run into each other again someday.

Don’t use social media to trash your previous job. Once you’ve walked through the door of your old workplace for the final time, you may want to post a status update on Facebook about how grateful you are to be free of that soul-sucking job and your old meatball-for-brains boss. This is something I’ve seen others do. Don’t succumb to the pressure. Stuff like that spreads quickly, and it not only looks awful to your previous coworkers, but it also raises red flags for prospective ones.

Thank your coworkers and bid them farewell. If there were a few colleagues with whom you actually enjoyed working, take the time to say your goodbyes. A grateful attitude is an essential character characteristic to cultivate. Building and developing your network is critical in an era where who you know is becoming more crucial in getting ahead.

It’s appropriate to send a mass email to all of your coworkers and customers informing them of your departure (without explaining why) and providing your personal contact information (email, phone, LinkedIn profile). However, you should also compose a personal letter to crucial and favorite folks, possibly handwritten. Mention previous projects you loved working on together, express your gratitude for them and their personal traits that make your job simpler and more fun, and express your want to stay in contact.



Ted Slampyak created the illustration.

Mugs Buckley, thank you for taking the time to share some excellent suggestions.



The “how to quit a job you love” is a difficult task, but it can be done. Here are some tips on how to make that decision.

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