Are You Stuck In A Rut With Your Job?

Are You Stuck In A Rut With Your Job?

Maybe you’re in a position you can’t stand. Maybe you just don’t get along with your boss or coworkers. Perhaps it’s simply time to search for something more fulfilling, or a job which pays you better. Don’t sell yourself short. These are all valid reasons to leave, and quitting a job you don’t enjoy is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

But How Can You Quit Your Job Gracefully?

quitting a job gracefully

You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, or seem ungrateful for the opportunities you’ve had. Even if you feel like walking out in a huff (or pranking your boss into oblivion), it’s better to take a step back. There Is A Right Way To Do This.

Quitting a Job the Right Way is the Right Move

quitting a job

You don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, or seem ungrateful for the opportunities you’ve had. Even if you feel like walking out in a huff (or pranking your boss into oblivion), it’s better to take a step back. There Is A Right Way To Do This.

Quitting a job the right way requires finesse. Sometimes, it requires restraint. You don’t want to burn bridges.

Even if you never plan on returning to the position, you may still want a reference. Is there a way to guarantee that you’ll leave in standing, with everyone rooting for your future success?

No, unfortunately there isn’t.

However, you can do your part to ensure you leave on good terms. The rest is up to your boss and coworkers. Read on to discover how to quit your job with class and tact.

1. Keep Calm

keep calm

Keeping calm is the first, and most important, step in ending your current employment.

No matter what type of job you have, it’s absolutely imperative that you remain collected and under control when you decide to quit.

Sometimes the decision to leave can come from a single action or scenario which completely derailed you. Sometimes it comes from an accumulative list of bad feelings from various sources.

Either way, you must keep your composure in the workplace. There is nothing more unprofessional than getting angry, and nothing that guarantees a bad reference like saying inappropriate things or raising your voice.

But keeping calm when you’re ready to explode is difficult, especially when you know you’ll be leaving anyway. Need some help?

We all do sometimes. Check out these things you can do to maintain professionalism when you’re angry:

  • Talk to Yourself: The all-things-business gurus at INC recommend talking to yourself. Not aloud, but in your own head. Ask yourself why you feel angry. List some consequences which may come to pass if you give in to your anger. These could include no severance pay, a bad business reputation, or a good relationship lost.
  • Reach Out: Interestingly enough, Forbes recommends reaching out to others when your emotions overwhelm you. Speaking to a loved one or a trusted friend can put everything in perspective. Hearing that kind voice or even reading a nice text can dissipate anger by reminding you that your work is not your entire life, and that much of your happiness comes from an outside source.
  • Step Away: Sometimes, walking away is the best decision to make. It ensures that the situation isn’t escalated, and allows you time to calm down before having a reaction which could damage your reputation and your future job search. Quitting in the heat of the moment is one of the worst moves you can make.

2. Give Appropriate Notice

resignation letter

Once you’ve made up your mind to quit, it’s tempting to just walk out the door. Don’t do that. It’s poor form.

Quitting a job gracefully requires that you give notice of your intentions to quit. It also requires telling your boss before you tell your coworkers. This is a sign of respect, and allows your boss time to adjust before hearing rumors about it.

As CBS News reminds us, you’re not the only one in your office. When you quit, everyone else is affected. Coworkers may have to pick up the burden of your workload. Your boss may have to cancel important meetings in order to give interviews for your position.

Giving your office an appropriate notice means giving them time to find a replacement. This means you won’t be leaving them in the lurch by walking out when they need you the most. So how much notice should you give?

  • Entry or Low-Level Position: The industry standard is two weeks, though you may give more if you feel it’s necessary. Two weeks should give your boss time to find someone else with the skills appropriate to do the job, and start training them.
  • Management or High-Level Position: If other people depend on you daily to perform tasks that others cannot do, you yourself may need to train your replacement. Even if someone else will be training your replacement, it may be harder to source someone capable of doing your job. Therefore, it’s better to give an ample notice of a few months.
  • Don’t Give Too Much Notice Yes, it’s a thing. Once you decide to quit, you don’t want to stay at a job too long. Harvard Business Review informs us that more than three months is excessive. Why is that? Work dynamics can be complicated. Once you quit, the shift in attitude towards you can be unhealthy. Pick a time and stick to it, so you can begin fresh with your new job.

3. Work Until the Very Last Minute

work at the very last minute

One of the most unprofessional things you can do during your final few weeks is to check out mentally. You have to keep working up until your very last hour. When you walk out the door on your final day, you are free. Until then, you are an employee and must act as such.

Nobody wants an extra wheel lagging around, getting paid for slacking off. Finishing strong at a job will guarantee that you leave a good taste in the mouths of your coworkers and bosses. It will also help out with that reference in the future.

Giving a poor performance during your final weeks could make you seem petty, resentful, and mean. Your coworkers and your soon-to-be ex-boss will remember this behavior. After all, it’s those last weeks which will make or break everyone’s opinion of you.

You’ll be commemorated for good behavior during the final stages of your employment. No one will remember the good things you did previously if that last week was terrible.

4. Prepare for Your Exit Interview

prepare for an exit interview

Be prepared for a final interview with your boss or upper-level management. While this may not be applicable if you work in the service industry or in a trade, it’s definitely expected for work in an office with a hierarchical management system.

The Guardian advocates for taking a moral yet cautious approach to your exit interview. Give your opinion honestly and openly, but beware of seeming angry and resentful. Stick to real experiences and the facts of your employment. Avoid trash-talking and discussing personal opinions of coworkers or bosses.

Preparing for your final interview also means that you have to be ready in the event of a counter-offer. If you are a valued employee, your boss may want you to stay. The company may offer you a pretty tempting package. It could include things like a raise, a promotion, or more time off. However, Forbes warns against accepting a counter-offer.

Their recently published interview with job coach Miriam Salpeter indicates that a counter-offer is a “knee-jerk reaction”, and may not actually be honored. Even if it is honored, be aware that you’ve exposed your desires to leave the company. That means your loyalty is nil, and they may replace you the first chance they get. Be firm but respectful when quitting a job.

5. Conduct Yourself with Respect Around Your Coworkers

conduct yourself with respect for coworkers

Treating coworkers with respect is a large part of quitting gracefully. Never brag, boast, or hold your resignation over anybody’s head. Remember, it is you yourself who no longer enjoys the position. Your coworkers may still love the environment.

Don’t act as though you are moving on to something which your coworkers should be envious of. If asked, simply say that you are taking an opportunity to grow in a new area. If you seem haughty or distant, you’ll alienate all of them, and bring the morale of the entire office down with you.

Instead, be friendly and keep in professional contact. Especially if you’re working in a specific niche, you may see these people again someday. The world is a small place, and if you happen to meet an old coworker — even if it’s years down the road — you need to have a good reputation. It’s good to retain a network of old coworkers, with whom you can share information and news with.

When Quitting a Job the Right Way is the Wrong Move

quitting a job

If you feel that your health is being compromised or that you are unsafe in any way, disregard the information you’ve found here. When an employee is being harassed, abused, or mistreated, they have the right to quit immediately.

Contact the Occupational health and Safety Administration (OSHA), to report dangerous working conditions. Contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to report abuse or harassment.Quitting a Job Could Be the Rewarding Experience You Need.

Remember, quitting a job can be a great way to further your career. You could grow by leaps and bounds, so go ahead and make a move.

You deserve it!

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