How To Quit A Job The Right Way In 7 Steps (With Tips)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 1 February 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

At some point in your career, you may decide to resign from a role. Doing so in a professional manner allows your employer to properly prepare for your departure. Understanding to quit a job the right way can help you maintain professional ties with your previous employer and make the transition easier. In this article, we explain how to quit a job the right way, discuss why you might quit a job and offer tips to help with the transition process.

Related: 10 Steps To Resign From a Job (With Tips To Quit Gracefully)

How To Quit A Job The Right Way?

Here is how to quit a job the right way to maintain professional ties:

1. Consider why you want to quit

Sometimes, you may find that you want to quit your job because you have become frustrated with certain aspects of it, with the work environment or even with your manager or team. While these are certainly valid reasons to quit a position, it might benefit you to take some time to first think about why you want to quit. It is important to be certain you want to quit before you start the resignation process, so you are doing what is best for your career. You may want to sit down with a manager or direct supervisor and explain yourself.

Sometimes, they can offer ideas or even direct help to alleviate those issues. If you are still determined to quit your job, it is important to find a professional and polite way to explain your reasons. Try using positive, professional language, but be direct. For example, if you are quitting because you do not work well with your team, you might say something like this, 'Although my team is incredibly talented and professional, I find that we struggle to connect in a way that is both productive for the company and conducive to my career goals.'

Related: Resignation Letter Due To A Career Change (With Samples)

2. Give your employer proper notice

One of the most important steps of the resignation process is giving your employer notice about your intent to vacate the position. Employers are going to seek other candidates once you resign, so giving them enough notice to fill the position and reduce revenue loss is both a professional courtesy and a helpful gesture for the employer. Typically, you give at least two weeks' notice before you vacate a position. If you can give your employer more notice, they might appreciate the extra effort. This gives them more time to find a replacement and train them.

Related: 15 Signs You Should Quit Your Job And Find A New One

3. Draft a resignation letter

A resignation letter is a written declaration of your intent to vacate a position. This letter describes your date of resignation, your reasons for resigning and any feedback you have for your employer. Once you determine when you want to resign, you can draft your resignation letter. You can organise your letter like this for readability and professionalism:

  • Header with your name and position

  • Salutation

  • Resignation statement, including your proposed final day of work

  • Reasons why you are leaving the company

  • Thank you and feedback for the supervisor or business

  • Signature

Including your reasons for vacating the position is entirely optional, but provides valuable feedback that an employer can use to improve the position for future candidates. For example, if you resign because you do not have the right tools to perform your job, an employer may read your letter and consider investing more resources into providing the right tools for the position. Your feedback can act as a blueprint for the position's future, so be direct and honest but avoid harsh language.

Related: Resignation Letter Sample With Reason: With Writing Tips

4. Expand on your feedback

When you submit a resignation letter, an employer may want to speak with you personally. Employers sometimes like to explore your reasons for leaving in more detail or offer options for your current position to prevent you from leaving. If you are a significant contributor to the company, it might surprise them to see your letter. A resignation meeting is an excellent opportunity to expand on the feedback in your letter and explain why you are leaving. Speaking directly to the manager or supervisor means you are talking to someone who has the power to make changes, so be honest.

For example, if you were quitting a job because you found a new position with higher pay and better benefits, you might elaborate on how you did not feel your wages reflected your education and experience level. Or, you can describe how you feel the benefits package does not cover your basic health care, retirement and time off needs.

5. Complete your transition work

As you transition into your next role, you likely have transition work to complete before you leave. This work often helps an employer close open projects and complete your contribution to the company, so it is important to take it seriously and complete it as soon as possible. This might include filing paperwork, transitioning your reports or documents to the right department and completing any open projects. Remember to put effort into your work during your last few weeks. Consistency can show professionalism and pride in your work and may help influence an employer's decision to provide a recommendation.

Some employers may end your employment the same day of your declaration if you are going to work for a competitor. This is typically a standard practice, and it helps prevent current employees from sharing any company information or trade secrets with a competitor. If this occurs, collect your personal items, turn in your work equipment and thank the employer for the opportunity to work with them.

Related: What Are Career Opportunities and How to Choose the Right One

6. Help train your replacement

When you vacate a position, an employer may find a replacement before you finish your tenure. This can allow for an opportunity to train the replacement, which also might be something an employer requires before your resignation. Train your replacement to handle your day-to-day responsibilities and guide them on best practices for the job. While it may take longer than a few weeks to effectively train a new employee, your advice and guidance can be incredibly helpful in helping them assimilate into the role and the company culture. Training your replacement is also a professional courtesy most employers appreciate.

Related: Tips And Examples For How To Format A Resignation Letter In India

7. Share gratitude for the opportunity to work for the company

It is important to always express gratitude for any position you are leaving. The company allowed you to work with them and learn new skills, so thank them for their time and be polite with negative feedback. You can express gratitude both in your resignation letter and in any in-person meetings you might have prior to leaving. You can also thank your colleagues for their teamwork and support. This can help you maintain those crucial professional ties for your network. You or they might be in a position later to help with career options, so be courteous.

Related: Simple Resignation Letter: How To, Tips And Example

Tips For Transitioning To A New Position

Here are some helpful tips for transitioning to a new position:

  • Be respectful. Even if you are leaving a position for negative reasons, it is important to maintain your professional reputation and connections by being respectful, both with your feedback and with the exit process.

  • Offer help. Even if an employer does not directly ask for your help with new recruits, you can offer to help train your replacement as a professional courtesy and gesture of appreciation for the employment opportunity.

  • Clean your workspace. Cleaning your workspace helps create a fresh work area for a new employee and can show that you are both respectful and organised. Clean your work area prior to leaving and be sure to take all of your personal belongings with you.

  • Maintain work quality. Even with your last day coming up, it is important to maintain your work quality until you officially depart. This helps the company stay on schedule and can help maintain that professional relationship with your employer.

  • Read the employee handbook. It is important to review the handbook before you depart so you know what benefits, if any, you are entitled to when you resign from a position. Review the document so you can be better prepared for the resignation meeting.

Related: Utilise Your Aptitude To Find The Right Career

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