Sometimes, we all want to flip our desks, scream at the top of our lungs “I’m mad as hell, and I am not going to take this anymore!” Or, if you are a fan of social media, you might choose to make a demeaning video of your company and post it online letting them know that you quit.  But let’s face it; this is not the most professional way to quit a job and that sort of behavior does tend to come around to bite you later.

thinking-about-quittingSo you want to quit and no one can stop you. How should you do it so that you don’t ruin your reputation or end up explaining what happened to a potential new employer? Let’s look at 4 ways to quit that are professional:

  1. Resign in person. Recently, I learned of a Director of Sales at a Fortune 50 company who resigned by leaving a note on her desk and then went out to lunch. Your boss, regardless of how you feel about them, deserves to hear from you and have a face-to-face discussion. It can be short, sweet, professional, and to the point but it has to happen.
  2. Give two weeks’ notice. I understand that you want to get out of there but do the right thing and give the company at least some time to find a replacement. Remember, you are not only hurting your boss, you are hurting the people who have to pick up your slack when you are gone. This will not play well with potential employers.
  3. Keep working. After you give your notice, do your best to transition your work to another teammate. Make sure that you document what you do, so that someone else can take over in your absence. Make it as easy as possible on the employer, even if you are mad at them. Don’t take a “lame duck” attitude. Frankly, this is going to leave your boss and coworkers feeling nearly as hollow as had you just walked out.
  4. Minimize surprises. If you are having issues, it’s always better to handle conflict upfront and in a professional manner. Or, if you are moving or going to school or have a different reason for quitting, then let your boss know that is where you are heading. I get it; sometimes, you have a vindictive manager but if not, keep your boss apprised of your situation, which will lessen the shock when you do quit.

These are just a few ideas on how to quit correctly. What do you think is a good, professional way to quit?

Susan Ruhl is President & CFO of Innovative Career Consulting and was also just elected Chairman of the Board of OI Partners, Inc. Susan facilitates the Denver-based Executive Talent Board, a peer-networking group for C-level executives currently in the job search. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Marquette University.

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