What Is the Right Way to Quit Your Job?

You’re frustrated. You’re angry. You’re at the breaking point. You’ve had enough of the people for whom you’ve slaved for the last 10 years but who still don’t know your name. You are quitting your job. Although JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater lived the dissatisfied employee’s dream last year when he snapped after being treated in a rude manner by a passenger, grabbing two bottles of beer, deploying the emergency slide and disembarking a grounded plane (who among us didn’t get a guilty pleasure out of that story?), that was probably not the wisest way to bow out of a job. Instead, here are some tips on how to quit in an honorable fashion:

  1. Write a letter of resignation. Keep it professional and positive. You never know when you’ll need your current employer’s help in the future. State your notice period. Don’t put all your grievances on paper, and don’t speak negatively about the firm. What’s the point? You’ve found your escape route. Just grin and bear it until your departure date.
  2. Ask for a written reference. A few years down the road, a former employer will have forgotten all about you and may not be the best source for an oral reference. Get your boss to write about your credentials on paper, while you are still fresh in their minds.
  3. Tie up all the loose ends: your pension plan, your health insurance, and so on. Clean up your computer.
  4. Return all company property. Hand in the key to the door. Send a friendly farewell email to all your colleagues. As you leave the building for the last time and walk down the street, smile, and play George Michael’s “Freedom” loudly on your MP3 player.

Now that you know how to quit, here’s some advice on how to move on:

Escape from Corporate America


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