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How to Quit Your Job Gracefully

So, you’ve decided to quit from your current position and move on to greener fields.  You’re excited for the opportunity and are already ready to begin at the new company.  But you need to ensure that you quit your job gracefully and professionally.

There are so many questions racing through your head, will you enjoy your new job, are the people there nice and friendly, will you succeed, how good or bad will the commute be?  But perhaps, more than anything else, you’ll be filled with dread on relaying the news and information to your current manager.

Let’s be nervous, because it is okay to be nervous.

You’ll likely feel jittery, nervous, and a little panicky leading up to breaking the news.  Almost everyone feels those emotions and it’s natural.

You need to place yourself in the right mindset and ensure that the decision you’re making is the correct one for you and your family. Remember why you first began looking for a new opportunity and keep yourself as calm and composed as you can be.  This is the best decision that you’ve made for yourself.

Let’s take a step back

Before even entering your manager’s office, make sure that you don’t have any contract agreements or clauses which you may be in breach of if you do quit.  Read all of the details of that agreement/contract and make sure that you are not violating it.

I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice, but if you do believe you are in breach of a contract agreement, it may be worthwhile to seek consul from a licensed attorney.

Let’s begin

You’ll likely want to find some time with your manager in private to begin this discussion.  If you do not have any upcoming one-on-one meetings, feel free to schedule one. Most managers will have an idea that you are looking to quit if you randomly set up a one-on-one meeting with them.  Honestly, it’s a difficult conversation for managers as well.

Once you meet with your manager, the absolute thing you do not want to do is apologize.  You have nothing to apologize about.  This is a professional setting and you are simply taking the best course of action for yourself and your family.  Do not apologize.

Rather, you can begin with something along the lines of, “Firstly, I really wanted to thank you for the opportunities you’ve provided me here, however…”

Once you state the word, “however”, you open the conversation towards your resignation and next steps.

 “However….I recently came across an opportunity that I believe is a great fit for myself at this time.”

With this statement, you are reframing the narrative that there are no hard feelings, but that the opportunity is one that is good for you and one that would be wise of you to take.

From there, you want to provide support to your manager and current team.

“While I understand the timing may be difficult, I would like to offer a full two weeks to assist with any trainings that may need to be done and to complete any tasks on my plate.”

Again, this last sentence shows your continued support and commitment

You can then begin to close your statement with the following:

“I just wanted to reiterate my appreciation and truly do thank you for the support, guidance, and mentorship opportunities that have been afforded to me.  If there is anything at all that I can assist with during the next two weeks, please let me know.”

Utilizing this script for quitting your job has always proven effective for me at every job I’ve left.  It is straightforward and to the point, while still showing support and appreciation.

Script

For the full script, please reference the below:

“Firstly, I really wanted to thank you for the opportunities you’ve provided me here, however, I recently came across an opportunity that I believe is a great fit for myself at this time. 

While I understand the timing may be difficult, I would like to offer a full two weeks to assist with any trainings that may need to be done and to complete any tasks on my plate.

I just wanted to reiterate my appreciation and truly do thank you for the support, guidance, and mentorship opportunities that have been afforded to me.  If there is anything at all that I can assist with during the next two weeks, please let me know”

And voila, you just gave your two-week’s notice to your manager.

Quitting your job gracefully should be your biggest priority when submitting your two-week notice.  You’ll want to do it professionally and cordially and allow for ample time for your manager to update the team and the team structure.  Be sure to keep connections with your colleagues for future networking, which LinkedIn does an amazing job at.

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