If I want to leave my job instead of keeping it, how do I leave my job in a way that’s helpful?
These days, in many occupations, it’s not usual to stay in a job for life, rather, many people work various jobs, sometimes in a few careers, over the course of a lifetime.
Leaving a job well means terminating your employment in a way that keeps key relationships intact, that may give you a good reference, and that leaves room for potential future opportunities. Key relationships are the friendships, mentors, and supervisors who may be resources for you later, either as personal connections you want to keep in your life, or as people who may offer you job leads, references for other jobs, or who will help you think about next steps. Leaving well is the opposite of getting fired or quitting angrily and suddenly. Leaving well means making sure that you leave with the relationships, references, and connections that you want to have as you move forward.
Leaving well may mean giving your employer notice that you are planning to leave. Your employee handbook or onboarding materials may give you the number of weeks you are expected to give notice for. Prepare a letter of resignation to bring with you when you tell your supervisor or HR manager that you are planning to resign.
Plan out what you want to say. Keep things simple and positive. Ask someone at work to be a reference for you, and plan out any last work you need to do before you leave.