"I quit my job by email since that's how I normally communicated with my boss. But I've been thinking that quitting by email may not be appropriate...!"
Have you had enough? Is quitting the right option? If so, resign with class. But first, know why you're leaving.
Do you have patience with customers or co-workers? Are company policies and ethics congruent with your values? Do you have supportive superiors? Do you dread Mondays? Does your job meet important needs (e.g., work/life balance, challenge, variety)? Do you enjoy job tasks? Other?
Evaluate your current situation. List everything you like and dislike about your position. Also identify career successes. Review why you chose your job (e.g., salary, opportunity to use skills), and whether you still have these rewards. Note whether you're committed to your employer, what you'll gain by remaining with the company, and what you'll lose if you leave. Determine whether non job-related factors (e.g., relationship, health) affect your attitude.
Examine all options. If you're unhappy, consider personal vacation time to gain perspective. Think about transferring to another department in your organization, a different employer, a new field, self employment, or further education. Consider asking the company's employee assistance provider (EAP) for assistance.
Talk to your supervisor. Share satisfiers, dissatisfiers, and possible solutions. Discuss reshaping your job to fit interests and talents.
Clarify your long term career goal, and state reasons for wanting it. Review the pros and cons of achieving your goals with this company.
If you decide to leave the organization, resign gracefully.
- Prepare financially. Save enough to survive a two month unemployment drought. Create a budget. Look at needs, not wants. Cut expenses. Use coupons, comparison shop. Reevaluate housing costs. Look for additional income sources such as temp work.
Check unemployment benefits. Quitting may disqualify you from collecting benefits that are often based on circumstances surrounding your departure. Consider the economy and the demand for your skill set.
- Know company policies regarding resignation letters. A few sentences indicating notice and termination dates usually follow the verbal notice.
Write a short, gracious, visually attractive, specific letter. In the first couple of lines, indicate your intention to resign and departure date. Appreciate your boss, colleagues and experiences. For example, state you thoroughly enjoyed implementing ABC project with your team, or selling the company's product or services. Remind the company of your achievements. If you're taking study leave, mention that, but don't name your new employer. Proofread your letter and ask a trustworthy friend feedback..
- Leave on good terms. Your boss should be the first to know. Schedule a face-to-face meeting. Don't fax or email your resignation. If your supervisor only visits your site every few months, ask for a meeting prior to her next site visit.
Get to the point. Give reasons for leaving. If your reasons are financial, give your employer a chance to make a competitive offer. Discuss entitlement to benefits. Stress the delights of having worked for the supervisor, whether delightful or not. Focus on the positive, but give reasons for leaving. A new job may offer more promotional opportunities or better work hours. Time out for travel or study may rejuvenate you personally and professionally.
Be flexible regarding departure time and terms. Think in terms of a new reference. You're behavior in the final days shapes others' opinions. Tell colleagues after the official notice, but don't discuss details. Maintain friendships.
- Give sufficient notice. Follow company procedures. The standard is two to four weeks, but this depends on length of tenure. In some circumstances, such as ongoing harassment or physical threat, it's justified to leave without notice, but. document complaints.
If your contract requires working for a longer time frame, discuss options with former and new employers. Your new employer may be willing to pay your current organization to get you sooner. Negotiate the possibility of working weekends or evenings to complete projects.
Advise the new company of your requirement to give notice before starting. Employers usually respect your need to terminate with grace.
- Manage in-between time. Tie up loose ends, organize files. If you have to train a replacement or hasten the completion of a project or task do so professionally, sincerely.
- Express appreciation. Keep negative feelings to yourself. Find something good to say. For example, "I've really gained from the experience, and my colleagues meant a lot to me."
- Prepare. Some companies require terminators to leave the company site immediately. Be prepared to remove personal belongings and files from your computer. Budget for the possibility of not receiving a paycheck.
- Plan for the exit interview. Many companies conduct exit interviews to pinpoint sources of employee dissatisfaction. Offer suggestions and feedback on how the organization can become more competitive and improve products or services.
Avoid career busters
- Never quit the day before joining a new organization.
- Don't resign on impulse.
- Keep your mouth shut. Don't badmouth or trust anyone with negative information.
- Don't damage property or steal.
- Don't feel guilty. Don’t mourn a job that no longer fits, or worry about what colleagues think.
Look forward to starting a wonderful new chapter of your life career!
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, by Dr. Carole Kanchier, provides additional tips for getting, keeping, and quitting a job: https://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963. Carole Kanchier, psychologist, coach, and speaker, may be contacted at: www.questersdaretochange.com.