The Do’s and Don’ts of Quitting a Job

You are ready to move on.  However, before you can do that, you need to quit your current job.  What is the best way to quit your job, and make sure that you don’ t cause yourself any future problems.  Here are some do’s and don’ts to help guide you:

Do give proper notice.  You are expected to give at least two weeks written notice when quitting a job.  If it is a management position, more notice would be appreciated by the organization.

Don’t say bad things about people.  When you are leaving the organization, it can be tempting to finally tell your coworker what you think of her, and to tell everyone about your horrible manager. Remember your mother’s advice, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.”

Do everything that you can to make the transition smooth for the employer.  Properly train your replacement, and tell your coworkers everything that they will need to know.  If you feel comfortable, leave your contact information, so that they can contact you if they need you to answer a question after you are gone.

Don’t quit unless you are sure.  It is best if you wait until you have another position secured before you quit.  There is usually no going back on this decision.

Do ask for references.  The best time to secure a reference is when they are standing right in front of you.  Most people will be happy to do it for you.  You can also get contact information from all of your coworkers.  This is the way to build your network.

Don’t badmouth the employer or divulge confidential information after you have left the organization.  The world is small, and these things have a way of coming back to get you.

Do make sure that you complete all of the necessary paperwork with the human resources department, and that you return all company property.  Nothing is more annoying than chasing down a previous employee.

Don’t leave things undone, or a mess at your workstation.  Be kind to the person who is replacing you.

Do say goodbye to everybody.  Make a point of it.  Peoples’ feelings will be hurt if you forget about them.  You can also send a goodbye email to all staff, or leave a card in the lunchroom. 

Don’t feel too guilty about it.  It’s just business.  If you handle it professionally, most employers will not be too upset about you leaving.  They understand that you need to continue on your career path.  They may feel that it is a loss for the organization, but they will wish you well.

When it is time to leave a job, it can be easy to focus on the negative parts of the position.  Try to resist this temptation, and be grateful to the employer.  Remember how excited you were when you first started working there.  Keep in mind that this employer gave you an opportunity, without which, you would not be as skilled or experienced as you are today.  You need to do what is best for your career, but do it with class by showing respect for the employer.


(Written By:  Karen Bivand, Photo From: photostock /


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