How to Quit Your Job and Find Something Better

How to Quit Your Job and Find Something Better

Do I have to write a resignation letter? How much notice do I need to give? Can I still use my supervisors as professional references?

quit your job
There comes a time for many of us when we decide to leave a job. Whether it is because we have another opportunity already lined up, or because we just really hate our boss, there are similar steps to go through to make your resignation process as painless and amiable as possible.

Think it Through

Leaving a job is an important life decision that requires a great deal of thought. Put time and effort into planning and thinking it through before you actually make the final decision. If you put the decision off for too long, you may one day find yourself at your wit’s end and quit on the spot. Give yourself ample time to make the right choice. Ask a significant other or a close friend for advice. If your job is truly unsatisfying, they will probably have picked on that already. An unsatisfying job can be a significant source of stress and discomfort and sometimes making the decision to quit can be the best thing for you.

Begin Looking for a New Job

Take some time to explore the employment market and seek out other opportunities that interest you. The last thing you want to do is quit your job and find yourself unemployed without a reliable source of income. Start contacting potential employers and sending out resumes. Remember, the best time to start looking for a new job is when you already have one. If you do go to interviews, you’ll likely be asked why you want to leave your current position. Remember to be tactful and avoid talking poorly about your current employer. Let the interviewer know that you plan on giving ample notice to your current employer; they will respect the fact that you are resigning responsibly. For more resources on job searching and interview advice, visit Job Search Success Central.

Write a Resignation Letter

If you have made up your mind about leaving your job, begin preparing to give notice to your current employer. Write a resignation letter that clearly states your intention to leave the organization. In your letter, give proper notice for when you will be leaving. The common rule of thumb is to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice. Typically, the higher up in the organization you are, the longer it will take to find a replacement, so you may want to consider giving more notice so your employer can begin hiring someone new to take over that you can pass your expertise onto. Also, carefully consider the timing of your resignation. If you leave in the middle of an important project where your expertise is crucial, this well not reflect well on you. Remember, it’s a small world and colleagues will talk about you with others. If possible, choose a time frame for departure that would be most convenient for your employer.

In your resignation letter, you do not need to give your reasons for leaving if you do not want to. Avoid saying anything negative or giving any harsh criticisms. Let your supervisor know that you are willing to help out in the transition and want to make the process as smooth as possible for all involved parties. Even if you really hate your boss, try to leave with some kind parting words. Remember a few positive moments from your time working and thank your employer for the experience you have gained in the position. Even if there is animosity between you and your boss, keeping your departure as amiable as possible will work out the best in the long run.

Let your Supervisor Know in Person

If possible, schedule an in-person meeting with your boss to deliver your resignation letter. While bad news can be difficult to break for some people, having the courtesy to deliver it in person will show that you are a mature and professional individual. It will make a better impression and demonstrate that you are responsible enough to show professional courtesy when making a difficult decision.

Network with Colleagues

After you have delivered your letter of resignation, finish your last few weeks with a strong performance. While you may be tempted to slack off considering that you are leaving soon, remember that your colleagues are still watching and these people may prove to be important references down the road. If there are any other influential people in your company that you want to stay on good terms with, kindly write them a short note expressing your gratitude. Especially in smaller, niche industries, the professional network can be very limited and people will ask around about you when you apply to other organizations. Leaving on a positive note with your colleagues will go a long way in building your reputation when you begin applying for other organizations.

Quitting a job often leaves people with a big sigh of relief. Planning ahead and making your resignation as smooth as possible is key to preventing that sigh of relief from turning into panic and despair when you can’t find another job. If you don’t have another job lined up already, turn job searching into your full-time job. Don’t forget to update your resume with your most recent work experience. Consider working with a professional resume writer to find the best way to market yourself to potential employers. If you want to know if your resume needs help, email it to for a free review or schedule a consultation to meet with an experienced resume writer today. Research companies that you think you would fit in well. Find a position that you would enjoy doing for a living. Turn quitting your job into an opportunity to develop your career and find something you love doing.


About Peter J. Hunter

More than 10 years experience as an Executive Resume Writer assisting company leaders and Fortune 500 executives in the preparation of dynamic job search documents.
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