FOUR Easy Tips to Quit Your Job with Grace.

Let’s face it; break-ups are hard, especially for high achievers who do great work and agonize over the response from their boss and team. Nevertheless, quitting your job is part of the career development process. And the reality is, moving into a new role or to a new company is an excellent way to grow your career.

Instead of wasting your energy anticipating how your boss will respond to your news, spend your time planning a graceful transition and leaving your team well-positioned to continue without you.

Determine your timeline.

  • Providing adequate notice is respectful and allows time for proper communication and transition of work.
  • A typical timeline is providing a two-week notice. Depending on your role in the organization, you may want to extend the timeline.
  • Be sure to think through your timeline as it relates to any benefits or bonuses coming your way. Get clear on compensation, equity, vesting schedules, and make sure you’re not leaving anything on the table.
  • Bottom line, the more time you can provide your organization to plan for your departure, the better.

Craft a communication strategy.

  • Your boss should be the first person you tell — this will avoid office gossip and allow them to prepare for the necessary follow-up.
  • Set up a meeting to share the news with your manager; it’s best to discuss in person or over the phone versus sharing your news in an email or text.
  • The conversation should be short + succinct, “thank you for meeting with me today, I wanted to let you know I’ve made the decision to leave, and my last day will be [date of last day].”
  • Additionally, this is a perfect time to share your top-level ideas for a smooth transition.
  • After the resignation conversation, follow-up with an email re-cap. Please note, some organizations will ask for a formal resignation letter. This email should be simple and include the necessary details about your last day.
  • Be prepared for follow-up questions about your reasons for leaving and where you’re going. It’s typical to provide a brief + honest answer.
  • Determine who else you want to talk with directly — do you have a matrix manager or others you collaborate with closely? Be sure to ask your manager for time to speak with them before a team announcement.

Build a transition plan.

  • Transitioning your work to other team members is one of the most challenging parts of your departure AND will be the FIRST thing on your manager’s mind.
  • Start by talking to your boss about who will take on additional responsibilities until a replacement is determined.
  • Think through your key objectives and develop a list of mission-critical actions versus nice to have.
  • Create a written plan and a shared folder with associated documents, files, links, and everything necessary for the team to carry on in your absence.
  • Allow enough time for overlap — maybe there’s a weekly task you are transitioning to a new team member; can you start to have them take over while you’re there to explain?

Keep in touch! Maintaining relationships is a critical component of exiting with grace.

  • Leaving your esteemed colleagues behind is often one of the most challenging things of resigning. Keep in mind, just because you don’t work together each day doesn’t mean you can’t continue with your working relationship.
  • Recognize your manager for their support; it’s also considerate to highlight something specific you learned while working together.
  • Your colleagues are valuable to your network now and in the future. Be sure to connect with them on LinkedIn and share your contact information so they can get in touch with you.

In closing, career changes are a big deal! Whether you’re jumping right into something new or taking some time to catch your breath. So, along with planning your graceful exit, remember to take a few minutes to reflect on how far you’ve come and pop the bubbly to celebrate your new beginning!



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Jennifer Smith

Jenn is on a mission to support others navigate the world of work by resetting boundaries and igniting action to live their happiest lives ❀ Flourish.Careers