Choosing a career

 5 tips on how to quit your job gracefully and keep your reputation intact

- August 1, 2023 2 MIN READ
Quit your job concept: woman carries a box with office supplies and desk parapehenalia

We’ve all had bosses we didn’t like and wanted to tell them where to stick it. You dream, just once, of telling them what you really feel. Well, think again, says recruitment expert Roxanne Calder, author of Employable, 7 Attributes to Assuring Your Working Future and founder of EST10.

Just like the company Christmas party is a no-go zone to express your true thoughts and opinions, so too is your resignation. While it may seem like a great idea at the time, telling your boss ‘to stick it’, is a career derailer. Instead, you should resign with grace, which could be your smartest career move yet.

5 tips to resign gracefully

1. Rediscover your gratitude

Dig deep and recall how you felt when you first started your job. Consider the positive experiences and benefits received; friendships, training and development, knowledge and experience acquired. This will help you have the right frame of mind to resign and work out your notice period with grace. Being grateful balances any angst you may feel towards your job and helps with a dignified and memorable, for the right reasons, exit!

2. Don’t delay quitting

Once you are certain, don’t delay your resignation and don’t share it with anyone else at work. Procrastination when resigning is normal, and so is the desire to share. Your boss will appreciate as much notice as possible and confidential news like this is never contained. It always has a way of leaking out. It isn’t professional and puts you and the other person in an uncomfortable and compromised position. Bite the bullet and tell your boss first.

3. Pick the right time to quit

To receive full attention and the proper response, book an appointment with your boss. Sending a resignation via email and quitting with no precursor lacks consideration, even in our current time of remote working. No one likes to ‘break up’ this way.

4. Write it out

Write a thoughtful, not cursory resignation. Thank your boss for the opportunity and for what you have learnt. Even include some of the learnings for authenticity. Give the correct amount of notice in accordance with your contract and don’t try to skim on this.

5. Provide a great handover

Consider writing notes with tips and offer to be contacted afterwards. Also, be 100% aware and conscious not to be passive-aggressive or to speak disparagingly about your boss or job–it will get back. Remember, as you change jobs, so do your bosses and colleagues. It is not unusual in certain industries to find yourself working together again. You never know what opportunities are around the corner.

When it comes time to resign, your reputation is worth more than a few weeks of lacklustre performance or impulsive action. Be committed, dedicated and always employable.


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