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How not to quit a job

I quit note on a computer screen

Credit: RomboStudio / Shutterstock

As spring approaches, do you find yourself wishing you didn’t have to go into work? Although it may be “spring fever,” which begins in mid-March according to Wikipedia, it could also be a sign you are ready for a career change.

To help you decide if its time to quit your job, here are a few light-hearted questions courtesy of personal branding guru William Arruda:

  • Do you count the days until Friday, starting on Monday morning?
  • Is spending time at the coffee machine your favorite part of your job?
  • Does your boss forget your name or what you do from time to time?
  • Do you sit at your desk hoping for a fire drill?
  • And more seriously: Are you using what makes you unique and special at your job?

If you do decide it’s time to move on from your current position, it may be tempting to leave in a blaze of glory, but you may regret doing anything dramatic or inappropriate.

In a survey released last month by OfficeTeam, nearly nine in 10 (86 percent) human resources managers interviewed said the way employees quit a job at least somewhat affects their future career opportunities.

Managers also were asked to recount the most unusual way they have heard someone quit a job.

Following are some examples:

  • “An employee baked a cake with her resignation letter written on top.”
  • “A marching band accompanied one guy in his announcement.”
  • “The worker threw a brick through the window with the words ‘I quit’ written on it.”
  • “An employee left a sticky note explaining he was quitting.”
  • “A worker threw a cup of coffee and walked out.”
  • “One employee bragged to his colleagues that it was his last day, but failed to let the HR manager or his boss know.”

Some workers went high-tech with their resignations:

  • “One woman created a music video to explain she was leaving.”
  • “A worker sent his boss a text message.”
  • “One person quit via Facebook.”
  • “The employee submitted a message through the company website.”
  • “Someone resigned on a video conference call.”
  • “The individual sent an email blast to all staff.”

A few employees had someone else do their dirty work:

  • “One person made his wife call to say he was not coming back.”
  • “The worker sent a text to his colleague and asked her to forward it to management.”
  • “An employee’s parents let the company know their son was resigning.”

Others did a disappearing act:

  • “A person went to the bathroom and didn’t return.”
  • “One worker packed up her belongings and walked out without a word.”
  • “Someone left for lunch and never came back.”
  • “A worker stormed out in the middle of a meeting without explanation.”
  • “The employee said she was stepping out to buy new boots, but was never seen again.”

And one worker took a more direct approach:

  • “He just stood up and said, ‘I quit.’”

“How you quit a position can leave a lasting impression, so make sure to exit on the best terms possible,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Doing a great job when you start a new role is expected. Doing a great job as you leave cements your reputation for professionalism.”

Here are some pointers he offers on how to quit your job gracefully:

  1. Give proper notice. Schedule a meeting with your boss regarding your resignation so he or she doesn’t hear it through the grapevine first. Providing two weeks’ notice is standard, but if your schedule is flexible, offer to stay longer to train a replacement.
  2. Get things in order. Provide written instructions to team members on projects and make sure they have access to the tools and information needed to complete assignments.
  3. Tie up loose ends. Don’t slack off in your last few weeks. Use your remaining time on the job to help complete projects you were working on.
  4. Provide feedback. If an exit interview is offered, participate. Be honest with your feedback, but keep it constructive and professional.
  5. Leave on a positive note. Take the time to say goodbye and thank you to colleagues. Provide your contact information and offer to keep in touch.

Hopefully your next job will be one you enjoy all year – including spring.

Tag Goulet is co-founder of and Academic Director of the International Association of Professions Career College which offers certificates for dream careers online at


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