How to Quit a Job Gracefully

By Erica Starks; Updated July 05, 2017
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No matter what your reasons are for leaving, it's vital to quit your job gracefully rather than on a negative note. Your former boss will respect you for giving due notice and be much more willing to write future recommendations for you. Gracefully quitting will also help eliminate the risk of inconveniencing co-workers who may have to pick up your workload until someone else is hired.

Decide on your departure date. A 4-week notice is ideal and will be much appreciated by your boss. While another job may necessitate an earlier resignation, do your best to allow at least a 2-week notice so your employer can plan accordingly.

Write a brief, concise resignation letter including the latest date you are available to work. You don't have to give a laundry list of reasons for your decision to quit, but highlighting the main points in a neutral way (no accusations, threats or complaints) will greatly aid you in securing positive references from your employer (see Resources).

Give your resignation directly to the person you are working for. It's best for your boss to receive this information directly from you as opposed to hearing it from co-workers you may have spoken to. Letting your boss be the first to know will also help limit negative speculation from their perspective.

Don't allow your quitting to affect present job performance. Submitting a resignation doesn't mean you no longer have responsibilities. You should make an effort to be even more diligent, thorough and positive through your last day in order to leave the best possible final impression.

Tie up every loose end. This includes the completion of projects, contracts or any other responsibilities which apply to your specific job. Doing so will both benefit your co-workers in addition to ensuring that your employer will have no reason to deduct money from your final paycheck.

Tip

Gracefully quitting a job doesn't require acquiescence on your part. If your reasons for quitting involve any type of harassment, make this clear to your boss and/or human resources department, and file the appropriate paperwork so it's on the record.

Warning

If you are being treated unfairly by your employer due to your resignation, it's best to contact your company's human resources department to resolve these issues before your departure.

About the Author

Erica Starks has been a freelance writer for Demand Studios since 2008. Her work has been highlighted in both online and offline publications, including the "Vampire Newspaper." Starks holds a bachelor's degree in sociology from Indiana University.