Sometimes you just know when it’s time to go.
Although the urge to choose happiness first and flee may be tempting, it’s to cut ties cleanly, particularly in the workplace. Quitting can be awkward and uncomfortable especially if you don’t have a plan of action. Fortunately, we’ve outlined some steps that can be taken to leave with grace and keep bridges intact.
Give your manager a heads up.
While quickly leaving a bad job may feel like the natural next step, it’s important to resign in a professional manner. Get some time on your boss’s calendar before sending over a resignation letter. Let your boss know you have something important to discuss and you’d like to connect as soon as they’re available, preferably in-person or video.
During the meeting, let them know they’re the first to hear about your departure and mean it. Refrain from telling other colleagues about the exit if you can help it to help keep the news of your quitting out of the rumor mill.
“It’s really a gesture of respect to your boss,” Christy Noel, a career coach and co-author of “Your Personal Career Coach” said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Create a straight forward letter of resignation.
Noel told the outlet that a resignation letter is primarily meant to serve as proof in your HR file that you left the company. She also says that less is more.
Workplace advice platform The Muse says this is a great example:
Dear Mr. Don Cohen,
Please accept this letter as formal notification that I am resigning from my position as Account Executive with Marketing Media. My last day will be Thursday, March 2.
Thank you so much for the opportunity to work in this position for the past six years. I’ve greatly enjoyed and appreciated the opportunities I’ve had to grow our sales team and pipeline, be a part of creating a great product, and work with my fellow colleagues, and I’ve learned so much about marketing strategy and the digital media space, which I will certainly take with me throughout my career.
I’ll do everything possible to wrap up my duties and train other team members over the next two weeks. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help during this transition.
I wish the company continued success, and I hope to stay in touch in the future.
Offer two weeks’ notice.
Your role is pivotal to the company, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. With that, it’s important to help ease the sting of your absence with at least two weeks’ notice, but those in leadership positions tend to give more time to allow the company the chance to find an adequate replacement. Typically three to four weeks’ notice can help, and forming a transition plan can help even more. In a simple Word or Google doc, include a status update on assignments, and important contacts you’ve been in communication with to move the project forward.
During the parting conversation with your boss, thank them for their leadership and the opportunity to work with them, especially if they directly hired you.
Within your resignation letter, offer thanks there as well, as the kind words will always be in your file. “If you can muster the energy to give a more positive one, it does help you out,” said Cara Heilmann, chief executive of the career coaching firm Ready Reset Gosays in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.