Waist up portrait of happy young businesswoman holding box of personal belongings leaving office after quitting job, copy space
The art of quitting: 13 tips from managers
From finishing on a good note to helping out with your succession, here are 13 answers to the question, "What are the best tips you'd give someone who is quitting their job but wants to go about it in the best way possible?"
DEEPER DIVE: Here’s how experts say to navigate the (not so) Great Resignation
- Give Them a Strong Finale
- Offer Good Notes About Your Experience
- Don't Burn Any Bridges
- Write a Gracious, Courteous Resignation Letter
- Keep in Touch Afterwards
- Always Leave on Good Terms
- Consider Upcoming Deadlines When Planning Your Exit
- Leave a Positive Impression
- Ensure You Give Sufficient Notice
- Offer to Orientate a Replacement
- Leave Your Job Professionally and Respectfully
- Use Your Remaining Days to Create Deeper Connections
- Be Firm, but Help in Succession Planning
Give Them a Strong Finale
Resist the urge to think of your last days on the job as "biding time". Instead, focus on what you can contribute that goes beyond expectations. Refresh old relationships, lend a hand to that junior associate, and pull one last rabbit out of the hat for your boss. If you're a rock star performer, act the part. Go out on a high note and leave them wanting more.
Tim Toterhi, CHRO, Plotline Leadership
Offer Good Notes About Your Experience
Don't burn bridges when quitting your job. It's certainly your prerogative to leave a company, but it's important for your future success that you don't burn any bridges or leave any ill will. You may need your former employers and coworkers for references or networking opportunities.
When quitting a job, you need to leave on a good note in order to keep those doors open and those opportunities available to you.
John Berry, CEO and Managing Partner, Berry Law
Don't Burn Any Bridges
If you're quitting your job and want to handle it the right way, don't burn any bridges. Leaving a job can be a messy business, and if you've been with a company for a while, you've likely developed relationships and connections with people at the company.
While you may not like your manager or some of the other people you work with, they can still be valuable resources to you if you're planning a career change or have plans to go work for another company in the future. So, make a plan for how you're going to handle your resignation, and make sure that you don't burn any bridges on the way out.
Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Paraphrase Tool
Write a Gracious, Courteous Resignation Letter
If you're quitting your job, it's important to consider how you'd like to be remembered. One tip is to provide a letter of resignation in advance and thank your manager for the opportunity they have provided you.
A gracious and polite letter can leave a lasting impression on your manager and show that you are committed to leaving on positive terms. Additionally, you should try to tie up loose ends as much as possible. This could include providing clear instructions for someone taking over your role, or simply writing a checklist of tasks that need to be completed before you leave.
Aviad Faruz, CEO, FARUZO
Keep in Touch Afterwards
There are all the obvious ways you can leave in the best way - give as much notice as possible, help upskill your replacement, etc.—but in my experience, one of the best things you can do is actually keep in touch with your manager and coworkers after you've quit.
I know someone who went to another company but still sends ideas for new tools to try to their old team, for example. It makes it extremely easy to keep the door open for a potential return down the line and makes getting glowing references a breeze.
Dragos Badea, CEO, Yarooms
Always Leave on Good Terms
Give the company a two-week notice for roles that can quickly be trained or easily transferable. If you hold a more specialized role, create some training documentation to help with the transition.
Let your management or leadership know what you learned while in the role and anything positive you can mention about your experience while working there. While some people may be tempted to storm out of a company, you never know how your future will twist and turn, so it's always good to leave on a positive note.
You may need a reference from this company in the future. It's important to keep some friendly contact with the people in the company, perhaps via LinkedIn or email. This way, your network will be more expansive, and you can always reach out for help from those who have worked with you in the past if you have a good relationship with them.
Liz Hogan, Career Expert, Find My Profession
Consider Upcoming Deadlines When Planning Your Exit
As a recruiter, I'm often tasked with assisting candidates through every stage of the job transition. My top tip to ensure a dignified exit? Take stock of any upcoming deadlines.
Managers tell me regularly that their biggest complaint is workers exiting the company in the middle of a project. Bringing a new employee up to speed on an ongoing task is a daunting challenge that almost always derails a deadline.
Employees should try to accommodate this as much as possible to ensure a good recommendation. While it's not always possible to schedule your exit, making sure you've completed your portion of the project can help. Barring that, consider preparing a guide for the new hire or even offering to train them yourself.
Rob Reeves, CEO and President, Redfish Technology
Leave a Positive Impression
First, schedule a meeting with your manager or supervisor and let them know that you're resigning. It's important to have a face-to-face conversation instead of sending an email or leaving a note.
Make sure to express gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to work for the company. Let your employer know how much you have enjoyed the job and how much you have learned. Maintain a positive attitude and avoid speaking negatively about the company or your colleagues. This will help to ensure a smooth transition and leave a positive impression on your employer.
Remember to give your employer enough notice to find a replacement or to transition your responsibilities to someone else. Generally, two weeks' notice is standard, but this may vary depending on your position and the needs of your company. If you are able to, perhaps consider offering to help with the transition process, such as training your replacement or documenting your responsibilities.
Derek Sall, Founder and Financial Expert, Life and My Finances
Ensure You Give Sufficient Notice
As an expert, I see giving sufficient notice as a sign of professionalism and respect. It shows that you value the time and effort that your employer has invested in you and that you're willing to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Two weeks' notice is the industry standard, but if you can give more notice, that's even better.
Rene Delgado, Founder and CEO, Shop Indoor Golf
Offer to Orientate a Replacement
The best approach to quitting your job on good terms and keeping doors open in the future is to offer to train a replacement. This strategy requires you to give the employer ample time to scout a replacement and bring them under your tutelage to ensure a smooth transition.
With this approach, all projects are completed, and the company sees your value one more time, which may encourage better negotiations to retain you or bring you back in the future.
Liam Liu, Co-founder and CMO, ParcelPanel
Leave Your Job Professionally and Respectfully
I would advise anyone leaving their job who wants to do so in the best way possible to conduct themselves professionally and respectfully at all times. This entails giving your employer adequate advance notice—typically two weeks—before your last day of employment and outlining your decision to leave the company in detail. It's critical to express gratitude for the experiences and opportunities you've had while working there and to offer to assist in any way you can with the transition.
Additionally, it's critical to maintain a positive outlook and not alienate coworkers or superiors. Keep in mind that everyone knows each other in the professional world, so you never know when you might run into them again. You can depart on good terms and uphold a strong reputation in your field by acting professionally and respectfully during the resignation process. This can be useful for future employment prospects and business contacts.
Inga Broerman, VP of Marketing, BluLogix
Use Your Remaining Days to Create Deeper Connections
During your final days at a company, it may make sense to communicate with others to see what you can do to further your career, even if it doesn't include being at that specific company. The managers and other employees could be able to provide some advice for you to take with you on your next adventure, and maybe even do things like connecting you with someone, recommending a book or course to take, and just building a deeper relationship with them that can last even after you've finished working at that company.
If I were leaving a company, I would make a list of people I'd like to chat with and say 'goodbye' to. In these conversations, try to make them valuable and use them as a time to build a relationship with this person. Try to catch them when they have a few minutes to spare for an actual conversation.
You never know where those conversations could lead!
Stan Caramalac, CEO and Founder, Move Central
Be Firm, but Help in Succession Planning
One of the more difficult positions to be in as a manager is when you don't know the resources at your disposal. This is why, if you want to quit in the best way possible, be firm that you are quitting rather than vaguely dropping hints for a few months.
By clearly communicating your intention to leave, even before submitting a formal resignation letter, it signifies that you're trying to do your best to leave the team in good standing—something that all managers will appreciate. Helping in succession planning after this point is bonus points, but always appreciated after a formal resignation has been tendered.
Onno Halsema, CEO, Contentoo