I’ve worked at a lot of different jobs in my short lifetime, but I’ve actually only ever quit three of them. Most of the jobs I had were either on contract or the stores I worked at just closed on me. The only jobs I ever had to quit were my part-time job as a cashier at A&W, then my two most recent jobs that I’d worked at for over 3 years.
Although my experience with quitting jobs may be somewhat limited, I do know that the most important thing to remember when quitting a job to quit your job the right way (thus avoiding burning any bridges). There is a right and wrong way to quit a job, and if you want to make sure you leave your employer on good terms, you might want to abide by these 5 tried and true rules.
1. Give plenty of notice
If you know that it will take more than two weeks to fill your role and you want to make a good impression before you go, give as much notice as possible. I gave two whole months’ notice because I knew that my HB and I would be moving to Toronto in the summer, and I knew that my work would need more than two weeks to hire a replacement and let me train them. In the end it worked out perfectly and it was win-win situation for everyone.
2. Be nice and leave with grace
I know there’s probably someone in your office you wish you could just burn on your way out the door, or maybe you’ve fantasized about going “F*** all y’all!” to the entire office before handing in your notice, but this isn’t a movie people. Pissing off a bunch of your bosses and co-workers will just hurt your chances of getting a good reference and landing your next gig, so make sure to be nice and hold your tongue until the bitter end.
3. Work hard until the end
You may feel the urge to slack off a bit when you know you’re only going to be in the office for a little bit longer, but it’s incredibly important to maintain your hard-working image until after your last day. I had no problem with that since I spent my last two weeks training someone new, plus since she was someone, I already knew I wanted to make sure she had all the tools to do the job right after I was gone. When I left, I not only felt good about keeping up my good work ethic the entire time, but also that my replacement was well set up too.
4. By all means don’t steal!
I’m not just talking about your favorite stapler here; I’m talking about stealing classified information. No matter what job you have, you are most likely privy to some important and private information that should remain so after you are gone. It might be tempting to jot down a few notes or passwords before you leave, but that’s a definite no-no. Not only will you be in big trouble if you are caught, just remember that most higher ups know a lot of important people who could affect your future career.
5. Keep in touch
It’s easy to lose touch with your co-workers and bosses after you leave, but if you want to maintain those important relationships until you land your next position, make sure to keep in touch with everyone. These days there are a number of different ways to do this. You can go old school and drop into the office to say hello, or you can keep in touch over email, Facebook, or Twitter. It might also be a nice gesture to thank anyone involved when you do land your next job. Remember, networking and maintaining relationships never goes out of style.
What other things can you do to make sure you quit your job the right way?