What NOT to do when quitting your job

Leaving a job is usually awkward especially if bad working relationships are part of the reason you have decided to quit. But no matter the reason for you leaving (hopefully, it’s just for a new challenge) you should always resign with grace. Never let emotions get caught up in the process of quitting, especially negative ones.

Here’s what we suggest not to do.

Don’t give zero moment’s notice

Your position will take time to fill. You may even need to help train someone to replace you. All this takes time, effort and funds. Don’t stitch up your employer, even if you feel jaded by them. It is the right and polite thing to do to give enough notice so that finding your replacement is as stress-free as possible.

Don’t tell your peers before your manager

Don’t go around ranting about how you’re interviewing elsewhere and planning to leave to your colleagues. If your boss hears gossip travelling through the grapevine before you tell them yourself, you’ll gain a reputation of being untrustworthy. You may not care if you seem that way in this particular workplace, but you should. Never think your situation would be invincible when it comes to professional chatter and Chinese whispers. Also, don’t let go of an opportunity for a reference.

Don’t be bitter in your resignation letter (yes, make sure you write a resignation letter)

Always write a resignation letter. And don’t, by any means relay anything negative in writing. Your resignation letter is a notification of the time you have left and should include thankful words for your time at the company. If you are leaving due to sour reasoning, phrase it in a way that is professional and objective. Do not add your personal feelings about certain people or management.

Don’t stop working hard

After you’ve let your employer know, don’t become lazy and careless. Think about the reference you could get… do you want their freshest memory to be ‘well towards the end they just started showing up late and taking long lunch breaks…’? Keep up your professionalism.

Don’t ignore the need for help

In conjunction with working hard, also put your hand up to help. Simply act as if you were still going to be working there for the next few years. Your role doesn’t magically become redundant because you don’t want it anymore.

Don’t leave a mess to clean up

Work-wise and desk wise, don’t leave a mess! Take all your own possessions and leave a clean space for someone new. And definitely don’t leave any projects unfinished. If the project needs more time that you can’t be there for, make sure you organize a clear and concise handover for the person taking over.

Don’t forget to ask for a reference

For many, managers know that you won’t stay in your position forever or that you will eventually move on. Even when you have a great relationship with your employer, quitting can be hard as there is a lot that is unspoken leading up to the first chat about leaving. But, if you’ve listened to this list, you’ve done a great job at keeping civil. Don’t be too shy to ask for a reference. You were a good worker and should use your experience to get future work.