The Practical Guide to Quitting Your Job

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Sometimes, your job just isn’t working out. Whether it’s your paycheck, the work environment, or your boss, something isn’t clicking. Sometimes it’s a combination of some or all of those elements at once. No matter the case, you want out. You need to quit, but you’re not sure what the best way to handle your departure is.

It can be very tempting to make some grand gesture of defiance. Maybe you want to go off on the manager who has it out for you. Maybe there’s a coworker you’ve been dying to tell off. As satisfying as those things sound in theory, they’re poison for your career in practice. If you’re trying to leave your job in the best way possible for your career, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t Burn Bridges

The best advice about quitting can be summed up in three simple words. Don’t burn bridges. Just don’t do it! The surefire way to poison your own career opportunities and obliterate a chance at a decent reference is to burn bridges. Yelling at a boss you don’t like or making some huge display won’t make you anyone’s friend.

Yes, it’s very tempting to show out when you think you’ll never need these people’s help. However, it’s a shortsighted move that could come back to haunt you. Keep your options open, and keep people’s opinion of you high. Take the high road when you quit a job.

Line up New Work

When you go to quit your job, make certain that you’ve got new work lined up. Quitting off into a jobless void is a very dangerous proposition. Lining up new work can even help you in your current job. Consider the safety net of having a job set up when you negotiate for a pay increase with your boss.

What’s the worst that could happen if you politely ask for a raise? If your boss is offended by this and fires you, no worries. Even if the manager says no to the raise, you can just put in a two weeks’ notice and leave. Best-case scenario, you could get a pay raise and not need to switch jobs.

Job Hunt Quietly

Don’t let your existing job find out that you’re hunting for work until it’s a sure thing. Once you’ve got work locked in for after you quit, put in your two weeks’ notice. If you bow out of this job gracefully, that’ll reflect well on your reputation at your new job, too. Employers like to hear that new hires are courteous enough to offer notice when they leave.