How to Quit Your Job (The Right Way)

Person carrying a cardboard box containing personal office items

Deciding to quit your job can be both exciting and stressful. Though you may daydream of a dramatic exit, it is best to be gracious and respectful when exiting a company. 

Whether you’re leaving your job because you found a new job, you’re switching careers, you’re moving, or any other reason, figuring out how to quit your job can be challenging. No matter the reason for your resignation, it’s important to keep up your professionalism and exit a job with grace and dignity. 

Not sure where to start? Follow the guidelines below for how to quit your job the right way. 

Decide when it is time to resign

To avoid an unplanned gap in employment, it’s a good idea to wait until you’ve officially accepted another job offer before you resign from your current job.  

Make sure you are prepared to leave before you submit your resignation. If there are personal files you would like to save, be sure to email them to yourself or save them to a cloud storage you’ll have access to after you depart. 

Meet first with your direct supervisor

Your supervisor is the person who will likely be most impacted by your departure. Before you tell anyone else at your company, meet with your direct supervisor to tell them that you plan on leaving and when your last day will be.  

Keep the conversation polite and professional. Supervisors understand that sometimes people leave a role to pursue new opportunities. When you act professionally and leave a company on good terms, you can keep the door open for future opportunities with the connections you made there.  

Give at least two weeks’ notice

In the United States, it is standard to give two weeks’ notice to your employer before you leave. Depending on your availability or contractual obligations, you may stay longer than the typical two-week period. No matter the length of time you will stay, be sure to communicate this with your supervisor as soon as possible and include this information in your letter of resignation. 

Write a letter of resignation

Even though you have already told your direct supervisor that you plan to leave, a letter of resignation is still a necessary step in quitting a job. 

When you write your letter of resignation, be sure to include the following: 

  • A statement that you are resigning 
  • The effective date of your resignation 
  • Optional: Why you are leaving 
  • Thank you 
  • Signature 

Wrap up and transition work

Don’t slack off as soon as you give your notice. If there are projects that you are working on, connect with your manager about who you should transition that work to. Provide documentation for your responsibilities and coordinate trainings and hand-off meetings with those who will be taking on your work when you leave. 

Not only will this help your coworkers and the team you are leaving, but it will leave a lasting good impression. Be a team player until the very end. 

Go through a resignation checklist 

When you resign from a job, there may be some admin tasks you want to wrap up as well. Make a checklist before you leave to ensure you’ve asked all of the necessary questions. Be sure to check with HR, your manager, and other applicable resources on the following: 

  • Outstanding compensation/paychecks 
  • Accrued vacation & sick days 
  • Eligibility for employee benefits 
  • Contact information for future references 

Share your gratitude for the opportunity

There is always something that you can learn and grow from in any job. Reflect on the experience you gained from this opportunity and express your gratitude. The opportunities you were given in your current role likely helped you earn your new job. 

Take time to personally thank the colleagues and leaders that you’ve worked with closely. This can be done in person, in an email, or a with card – whatever format you think fits best to that relationship. Not only is this proper etiquette, but it can help strengthen those relationships and your network. You never know when you might be able to help each other in your careers going forward! 

Take a deep breath

Though leaving a job can be anxiety-inducing, remember that this is something that happens all the time in the professional world. If you are courteous, show gratitude, at take the appropriate steps in your resignation, you can move on to your next opportunity without damaging relationships or burning any bridges. 

Want to find a new job opportunity? Check out the open jobs Green Key Resources’ recruiters are hiring for now on our jobs page

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