If you feel that it is time to look for a new job and quit the one that you currently hold, it might be tempting to just throw all caution to the wind and do some things that you might truly regret later on. Quitting a job in style is something that takes restraint and discipline. You might want to go out with a big bang, but, the truth is that going out with class and grace will get you further in life.
Do it in person
It could be tempting to write “I QUIT” in cigarette ash on your boss’ desk (or is that not a thing?), but burning bridges is never the way to go. You just don’t know how and in which ways people will pop back into your life. That same boss might turn out to be your father-in-law one day who talks his daughter out of marrying you. Improbable, but not impossible! Just because you no longer will be working for your boss does not mean that you will never ever ever need something from that person again. So schedule an appointment to meet with your boss. If they are busy, don’t let your commitment flag while you waiting for the meeting. Once you are in the room be courteous, self-confident, grateful and maybe even a little bit apologetic (without admitting guilt).
This is especially important if you have specialized skills. You might even want to give enough time to allow yourself to train somebody new for the company. That is a class act. If your skills are less specialized, two weeks should do the trick. Giving notice allows your boss to get all of their ducks in a row vis-à-vis getting another person to fill the role you will be leaving. This, again, puts goodwill on your side. And it is never a bad idea to have somebody look upon you with favor. Certainly not an ex-boss who can write recommendations and provide meets with people who you might profit from knowing.
Although it is perfectly all right to acknowledge a tough situation that might be afoot thanks to your departure, there is no need to apologize outright or to explain your reason for leaving the job. It is your duty to be polite and courteous but not obsequious. You don’t owe this person anything more than what you are already giving them: Respect. You might consider, if you are on friendly terms with your boss, offering feedback, if you have any, about how to better retain employees or how to better run the company. However, if you feel it would only stir up undue resentment, then it is best to leave the constructive criticism completely out of it.
However good it might feel to let your boss really have it, try to refrain from yelling. This goes back to the “no burning bridges” clause of quitting a job civilly. And also to the “you never know when and where you will see them again” clause. After all, his or her endorsement might be critical in helping you land a future job. You might even end up working for them again in the future. But probably not if you scream up a storm at them now.
Before you leave, in your last few weeks, it is important to continue giving your best performance at your company or job. This is not only for your boss’ benefit but for all the coworkers you have that depend on you as a part of the team. This is not only courteous but also returns to the idea of networking and not knowing where or when you might encounter a disgruntled coworker in the future who was super upset with your last few weeks of work (because it probably made his or her life more difficult). Leave on a high note. The best thing to do is to finish off strong like you were running a marathon.
Although you may have gotten along with all of your coworkers, if there were one or two people that stood out from the bunch as really helping you along in the job (or in life!), then it is important to give credit where credit is due. Thank them for helping you achieve success and for their support. You can verbally thank them, provide them with a note or a gift, or, if you are feeling really ambitious, do both of these things. As for your boss, even if it wasn’t the best relationship ever, still try to find the silver lining. It is not that you have to lie or anything like that, but coax her ego just the slightest bit and she will be happier with you for it. Again, it is all about leaving a good impression!
Quitting your job in a stylish and respectful fashion might seem like a lost opportunity to say all the things that you have wanted to say for weeks, months, years or decades. But, although the feeling of telling people off or being discourteous in your behavior may give you a temporary high, it will entail burning bridges with not just your boss but also your coworkers. And you never know what you might need from people you told off in the future.
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