How to Quit Your Job—Without Burning Any Bridges

The decision to quit a job can be a daunting and difficult one, as it involves evaluation of the current situation, weighing of options for the future, and often brings a range of emotions.

Mandi Woodruff-Santos, cohost of the Brown Ambition podcast and author of Just Quit! Toolkit can attest to this from her own experience — she has quit jobs in the publishing industry seven times over the last decade and even served as a hiring manager herself.

Despite feeling apprehensive about leaving colleagues behind or looking like an unreliable professional, Woodruff-Santos emphasizes that ultimately it comes down to doing what is best for one’s self.

After all, taking control of your career path by leaving a toxic work environment or pursuing new opportunities is still an admirable and valid choice that should not be shied away from.

That said, it is important to conduct oneself professionally when quitting a job since many industries are smaller than ever before – there is always the potential to cross paths with former employers and coworkers again later on down the line.

To ensure your departure leaves no ill feelings behind, having a clear understanding of how best to approach giving notice will help pave the way for smooth sailing in the future.

How Do You Know It’s The Right Time To Quit Your Job

How Do You Know It’s The Right Time To Quit Your Job?

For most people, the decision to quit their job won’t be instant; it usually starts with the realization that it’s time to move on and then develop a plan to make it happen.

Before making any decisions, it’s important to take some time to reflect on what factors are missing from the current work environment.

This should include considering the number of women in leadership positions, the benefits offered by the company such as equity, company culture, and flexibility for working parents, and whether or not you feel recognized and valued in your current role.

Once these questions have been answered, Vicki Salemi, a career expert and former corporate recruiter based in New York City suggests taking time each month or quarter to review your goals as well as what type of work you want to do and for whom.

Evaluating these elements can help determine if now is indeed the right time to leave your job. Additionally, financial considerations are key when deciding if quitting is feasible; this should take into account whether you have another job lined up or enough savings or family support to get through until you find another job.

How Much Notice Do You Really Need To Give?

How Much Notice Do You Really Need To Give?

Leaving a job without giving adequate notice can be considered impolite, but sometimes it is unavoidable due to exceptional circumstances.

For instance, if one is dealing with a hostile work environment, or needs to step back temporarily to care for an elderly family member or child, then the need to leave immediately may take precedence over any courtesy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many women have been left with no choice but to hastily depart from their jobs in order to tend to familial obligations.

Although there are certain situations where leaving without proper notice is understandable, it is advisable that due consideration be given when making such decisions.

It may not look particularly good when you give only one week’s notice (or worse; a day’s) and so it is best if this could be avoided where possible.

Not only that, one never knows who may be watching or who could potentially offer them a new opportunity in the future – therefore behaving professionally and respectfully upon exiting a workplace should always be top of mind.

However on the flip side, if someone feels they must leave abruptly due to an unbearable work atmosphere or other pressing needs then they should not feel guilty about doing so.

Is It Ever Okay To Quit Your Job Suddenly?

Quitting a job without having your next move totally planned out isn’t something to take lightly; however, it is important to consider the effect on your mental health.

If you are feeling depressed, anxious, or otherwise negatively affected by working in an unhealthy environment, it may be better for you to quit sooner rather than later.

Having some financial security can help make quitting more manageable. Depending on your field and your individual needs, financial experts advise having three to twelve months of living expenses saved up beforehand.

This cushion can give you the breathing room needed to make wise decisions while looking for a new job and get back into the right mental space for interviewing.

Do You Have To Quit In Person

Do You Have To Quit In Person?

If you’ve made the decision to leave your job, you may be wondering if it’s appropriate to do so remotely. If so, Woodruff-Santos recommends opting for a video call or conference on a platform like Zoom, as this allows for a more personal and empathetic approach when giving your notice.

She cautions against quitting via text or instant messaging services, such as Slack, as these methods can come across as cold and uncaring.

If video conferencing is not an option for your company, then the next best alternative is a telephone call. No matter which method of communication is used, it’s important to convey respect and appreciation for the role and organization you are leaving behind.

Doing so can help foster better relationships with colleagues who will continue to work at the company after you have gone.

How Do You Quit A Toxic Job?

Quitting a toxic job can be tricky, and the best way to go about it depends on various factors. For example, leaving a workplace with long hours is different from escaping a work environment where your boss is abusive or harassing you.

Therefore, it’s important to get advice from someone who fully understands both you and the industry, such as a dependable mentor.

When informing your boss of your decision to quit, it’s best practice to arrange a meeting first and then inform them of your intention.

It’s okay to be brief but professional in delivering the news; for instance, you may say something like “I am grateful for the opportunity I have had here and all that I have learned.

I would like to give you my two weeks’ notice and my last day will be December 5th. Should I send H.R. a resignation letter and copy you?” You are not obligated to provide an explanation as to why you’re leaving or where you will be going next – just keep it brief yet polite.

For more guidance on departing a toxic job successfully, there are other nuances that should be taken into consideration; for example, studying carefully how much notice must be given according to local laws or regulations pertaining to dismissal from work and ensuring any paperwork is filled out correctly before leaving.

Talk To HR To Come Up With An Exit Plan

Talk To H.R. To Come Up With An Exit Plan.

For Oludara Adeeyo, a former journalist turned psychiatric social worker and therapist, and author of the forthcoming book Self-Care for Black Women, the decision to leave her former job was not an easy one.

Despite the fact that she was just starting out in a career path that held great passion and promise for her, having experienced burnout as well as feeling like the only Black person on staff in a toxic work environment made up her mind.

To ensure she could exit her job on her own terms, Adeeyo began preparing ahead of time by slowly clearing out her desk and creating a training manual for the assistant who would take over after she left.

In addition, she consulted with the H.R. department to seek advice and plan out the best time to resign in order to maximize benefits such as another full month of payouts or for company matching 401k contributions and retirement benefits vesting date to be met.

If feeling uncomfortable talking to H.R., Salemi recommends considering factors such as expecting bonuses or unused personal days and vacation days payouts, in order to come up with a proper plan for quitting while maximizing benefits at the same time.

Consider Having A Mediator Join The Meeting.

If you are worried that your employer may react with hostility to your resignation and contemplate some kind of retribution, it is a wise idea to contact Human Resources (H.R.) first. Inform them of why you are getting in touch and that you would feel more secure if someone from H.R. accompanied you when you give your two weeks’ notice to the manager.

If there is no connection between yourself and H.R., or if you have had a negative experience with them, or simply do not trust them, consider reaching out to the external recruiter who hired you (if applicable).

Ask for advice on which person in H.R. could be trusted without making a random selection from the list provided by the company.

Additionally, consult with colleagues that can be trusted and ask for their recommendation regarding a suitable contact in the HR.

Alternatively, if feeling uncomfortable talking directly to your manager, seek help from other people within your team or another department with a higher rank than yours to act as an intermediary during this conversation; selecting someone whom you firmly believe will handle this delicate situation in the best way possible.

To ensure that everything runs according to plan and further protect yourself, research recording laws in your state; though some states require two-party consent for recording audio conversations, others only need one party’s consent before doing so.

Moreover, familiarize yourself with the policies of your organization as it may be against company regulations to record conversations without permission despite having left their employment already.

Be Honest In Your Exit Interview.

When leaving a toxic work environment, it is important to take advantage of any opportunity to express your concerns.

An exit interview is one occasion where you can safely do so without fear of retaliation. It is important to be as specific as possible when detailing experiences of harassment, discrimination, or other uncomfortable situations which were encountered in the workplace.

If you feel that your former employer has retaliated against you for speaking out during the exit interview, this could be grounds for legal action, as it can interfere with future job opportunities.

It is important to document and report any issues experienced while employed by the company in order to protect your rights and ensure that justice is served.

What If You Love Your Boss And Colleagues?

What If You Love Your Boss And Colleagues?

If you have a strong bond with your boss, talking about leaving your job can be one of the most straightforward conversations to have.

It is likely that they will not be shocked by your decision due to their appreciation for you. It is possible that they might have anticipated this happening and, while they may feel somewhat disheartened that you are parting ways, they should still be enthusiastic about what lies ahead for you.

A competent manager who understands the value of leadership will anticipate personnel shifts and have a plan in place for filling any vacated positions.

Even though it’s impossible to predict how your boss will respond to this news, it is best to go into the meeting concerning your departure prepared with an explanation.

Be as respectful and professional as possible, and then let it go from there. Additionally, sending them a thank-you card is a thoughtful way to express your gratitude.

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