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#CareerConvos: How to Bow Out Gracefully When You Quit Your Job

Bow out gracefully when it's time to quit your job.
Bow out gracefully when it's time to quit your job.

Broadcasting live from Midtown Atlanta. It’s such a vibe today - beautiful, sunny 75 degree day. Not too many people, I just had lunch and finished writing a blog and I wanna talk about the J O B. 

Let’s talk about work. Let’s talk about when you ready to chuck up the deuces and quit your job to that job that’s no longer serving you - or maybe it never served you to begin with. 

Whatever the reason is for wanting to quit your job, make sure you do it gracefully no matter the situation. Employees don’t quit companies - they quit people, bad managers or toxic environments created by toxic people. 

There’s also those employees who realize their professional aspirations are out of reach with the current company. Growth is a beautiful thing, no love lost. It can be emotional when you quit your job if it’s a great company and you’ve come to form deep relationships with colleagues. It’s also emotional if it’s not the most amicable professional breakup. Either way, resign from your job with the same energy you had on your first day with these tips. 

Listen to the podcast episode here:

  1. Discuss with your immediate manager. I’ve said AD NAUSEUM that you should be having ongoing conversations with your direct manager, especially when you quit your job. Discuss your workload, your career aspirations, and other things your manager needs to be aware of. When you have this resignation discussion let your manager know that you’re resigning and any relevant information your manager needs to know about. Your manager, not your coworkers or water-cooler friends, should be the first to know that you’re leaving.

  2. Follow up with a written resignation letter. After your discussion, send your manager and HR a letter confirming your departure. Include your last working day if nothing else. Reasons and extra words are unnecessary here - many people feel the need to use resignation letters as long drawn out explanations as to why they’re leaving. Your letter can be as succinct as: “I’m resigning from X position with ABC Company, my last day is September 12, 2021.” 

  3. Clean up, literally. Schedule time with your manager and team to discuss transition plans of work, open projects, and wrap up as much as you can. Use your last few weeks to set your successor up the right way. You ever start a job and see the dusty remnants of your predecessor? The desk hasn’t been cleaned, their condiment packets are still on the drawers, documents with their name is still laying around? It doesn’t feel good. Clean up the desk, leave some notes or guidance documents, send introductory emails that you’re leaving and who your interim point of contact is. Make the transition as seamless as possible for both sides. You always want to leave amicably, regardless of circumstances surrounding your departure. Even if you’re in a position where you’re leaving on less than ideal terms, keep that in mind.

  4. Decompress. If you’re going to another company, enjoy some downtime to fully remove yourself from your prior environment. Take a vacation, take a STAYCATION, spend time researching your new company or role. Start fresh and leave any concerns from your old employer in the past.

  5. Stay connected. Departures don’t have to be adversarial. Connect with your old colleagues on LinkedIn or by other means if y’all had great relationships. Catch up over an occasional lunch or phone call. When you quit your job and leave the company that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your valuable relationships. The world is smaller than we think and you might be the person to connect former colleagues to new opportunities and vice versa. 




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