Although job security is one of the most common concerns of those in the workforce today, there are times when a particular situation calls for the need to quit and move on to bigger and better opportunities.
Of course there is a “right” and a “wrong” way to do this but as a general rule of thumb, the one thing you want to avoid is burning any bridges.
Discretion is Key
From the moment you start the job search until you’ve gained interest from a potential employer, the only person that should know about this is you.
As tempting as it may be to share with your fellow cube-mate(s), the last thing you want is for the boss to find out through someone else. Even if you trust your coworkers to the utmost, this is one area where they shouldn’t be in the know.
Keep Your Job Search Efforts Out of the Office
It seems like common sense but is worth mentioning. To avoid getting caught up, conduct all of your job search business from your home computer or laptop outside of the office. The same goes with phone calls that involve talking to a potential employer.
Proper Notice is a Must
Even if you can’t stand to be at your job for another second, it is crucial that you give your employer enough time to find a replacement, once you know for sure that you’re going to quit. Although there are some cases where last minute notice can’t be helped, if at all possible, try to give your boss at least two week’s notice. It’s simply a matter of professional common courtesy.
Nothing makes you look worse than leaving an employer in a bind where they don’t have enough time to interview, hire and train someone to replace you.
Cover All Your Bases When Giving Notice
It isn’t easy to tell your boss in person that you’re quitting, which is why employees almost always submit their notice in writing or via email. Should you choose to write out your letter of resignation remember to keep your emotions out of it, especially if you’re leaving a bad situation for a better one.
As great as it may feel to air everything out in a letter or email, it reflects poorly on you as a professional. Keep the letter/email short and to the point and only include pertinent information, such as the date when you plan on leaving and if there are any loose ends that need to be tied up before you go.
Be sure to mention that you’d be more than happy to discuss the matter in person–if necessary–whenever it is convenient for your boss.
Keep Your Game Face On
The hardest thing to do is usually the right thing to do. Even if your boss reacts rudely to your departure or gives you grief about it, leave with your head held high and don’t lower yourself to their level. If anything, at least no one at the office can say you didn’t handle yourself with decorum, which will always reflect positively on you.