How to Quit Your Job

When You’ve Had Enough – How to Quit Your Job

Everyone’s had the type of job that makes it tough to get up in the morning. If your drive to work includes hoping for a traffic jam just to delay your inevitable arrival for a few precious minutes, or if you take up smoking just to get a chance to leave the office and pretend you’re somewhere else for a moment, then you’re probably ready to know how to quit your job.

Life is too short to waste time in a job you hate. Even in today’s tough economy, there’s sure to be something else for you. So, if you’re ready to pursue career options elsewhere, you’ll need to quit your current job and begin anew. But how to quit your job? It’s a bit like ending a bad relationship. Here’s what you should do.

  • Don’t Burn Bridges
  • Have a Cushion
  • Give Two Week’s Notice
  • Put it in Writing

Follow these key steps and you will be free of that soul-crushing job in no time with your dignity (and future prospects) intact.

Don’t Burn Bridges

How to Quit Your JobIf you really, really hate your day job as much as I’ve hated some I’ve worked in the past, then you’ve probably already spent hours working out your perfect quitting scenario in your head. However, this is not how to quit your job properly in real life.

While fantasies of finally telling your boss where to shove it, taking a baseball bat to that annoying copy machine, and shouting for your fellow employees to follow you like Henry V on St. Crispin’s Day might help to while away the hours at work, in reality they’re just likely to force security to usher you out the door.

You don’t want all the time spent at this job you hate to be a complete waste. If you quit in a spectacular display of childishness, then you’re not going to get a good reference from this employer. Moreover, who knows, you may need to get this job back someday. So, when you quit try not to burn too many bridges.

Be a grown-up about it. Demonstrate how much better you are than this lousy job by quitting in a professional fashion.

Have a Cushion

Many Americans today are living paycheck to paycheck. If this situation describes you as well, do some hard thinking before you quit your job. Is this the best time to quit? Are you certain that you’ll be able to find another job before important bills come due?

If you’ve thought about it and you’re still100 percent sure that you can’t take your current job a minute longer, you need to time your quitting very carefully so that you don’t find yourself in dire financial straits. Make sure you pay the important bills for the month, and try to pay whatever you can a bit in advance.

Any non-essential service you’re paying for like cable or Internet can probably be put on hold for a while. Sometimes, such service providers will even offer you a month of free service in order to retain you as a customer. Alternately, they may be able to temporarily suspend your service so that you can easily reactivate it later.

However you go about doing it, you want to make sure and have some sort of financial cushion for yourself before you quit your job. It will greatly decrease the likelihood that you’ll have to return to your previous job with your tail tucked between your legs.

Give Two Weeks Notice

Like the financial cushion mentioned above, you’ll want to have a cushion of time in the form of the two weeks notice. Instead of quitting your job today, let your boss know you’ll be quitting in two week’s time.

This is beneficial to both you and your employer. It theoretically will give your employer enough time to scout for your replacement (and spare your fellow co-workers from having to work extra hours to make up for your absence).

It will also give you one more pay period’s worth of cash to use during your unemployment, and some time to start your hunt for a new job before you get completely desperate for cash. You’re also much more likely to get a good reference from your old employer if you allow them this two week courtesy.

Even if the urge to run screaming from the office is overpowering, give two weeks notice. This is an important part of how to quit your job. You’ve suffered through this hated job this long, two more weeks won’t kill you.

Put It in Writing

If one of the reasons you’re looking to quit your job is because your employer is particularly unscrupulous, you probably want to take steps to protect yourself. You don’t want your old boss to be able to say you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t, or to threaten to sue for breach of contract, or anything like that.

The best way to do this is to document everything. Don’t just give a resignation speech or send a resignation email. Instead, write a resignation letter, and have your boss sign and date it. Keep the letter concise, exact, and professional. Explain that while you’re grateful for the opportunities you’ve been given, it’s time for you to continue your career elsewhere.

It may also be a good idea to ask for a copy of any paperwork your employer has you fill out upon your resignation. This may all seem a little over-cautious or even paranoid, but when it comes to your livelihood, it’s better to be safe than sorry. A little precaution at this juncture can save you a huge headache further down the line.

These tips will help you think about how to quit your job while keeping your future career prospects (and your bank account) intact. I hope that they will help you to find more fulfilling work elsewhere.

Good luck with your unemployment, whether you’re going back to school, getting a higher-paying job in your current field, or dropping out of the corporate world to follow your bliss. Nobody should be stuck in a job they hate.

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