Home » Career Advice » Job Search » How to Quit a Job

How to quit a job

How to Quit a Job

Leaving a job is a significant decision that can have a profound impact on your career and personal life. Whether you’re seeking better opportunities, personal growth, or escaping a toxic work environment, quitting a job should be done with careful planning and professionalism. In this guide, we’ll outline the steps to quit your job successfully while maintaining your professional reputation.

Have a plan in place

Ensure quitting aligns with your goals and needs

Before taking any steps toward quitting your job, it’s crucial to assess whether leaving is the best decision for your career and well-being. Reflect on your reasons for wanting to quit, evaluate if the issues can be resolved, and consider the potential impact on your financial stability and future job prospects. Ensure you have explored all options, such as discussing concerns with your supervisor or exploring internal transfers within the company.

When considering whether quitting your job is the right decision for you, it’s essential to ask yourself several critical questions. Reflecting on these questions will help you evaluate your reasons for wanting to quit and whether it aligns with your long-term career goals and personal well-being.

Remember, every individual’s situation is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should quit your job. By asking yourself a few questions and carefully weighing the pros and cons, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your career aspirations and personal well-being.

Here are some key questions to consider:

1. What are my reasons for wanting to quit?
Identify the specific reasons prompting you to leave your current job. Is it due to dissatisfaction with the work, company culture, management, growth opportunities, salary, or work-life balance? Understanding the root causes of your dissatisfaction will help you make an informed decision.

2. Can these issues be resolved?
Consider if the problems you’re facing can be addressed or improved within your current workplace. Are there opportunities for open communication with management or HR to discuss your concerns and work towards solutions?

3. Am I pursuing better opportunities?
Assess if your decision to quit is driven by the pursuit of better job opportunities elsewhere. Research the job market to determine if there are positions that align better with your career goals and offer the work environment you desire.

4. What are my long-term career goals?
Evaluate how your current job fits into your long-term career plans. Does it offer opportunities for growth, skill development, and advancement? Consider if staying in the current position aligns with your overall career trajectory.

5. How does this decision impact my financial stability?
Leaving a job without a backup plan can affect your financial stability. Assess your financial situation and ensure you have a safety net to cover expenses during any potential job transition.

6. Am I prepared for the challenges of job searching?
Job hunting can be a demanding process, and it’s essential to be mentally and emotionally prepared for potential rejections and setbacks during the search for a new job.

7. Have I explored internal opportunities?
If you enjoy the company’s overall culture and values, consider exploring internal transfer opportunities before quitting. Internal moves can provide fresh challenges without completely starting over in a new company.

8. Am I considering quitting impulsively?
Ensure that your decision to quit is well-considered and not based on an impulsive reaction to a specific event or temporary frustration. Take the time to think things through before taking action.

9. What support system do I have?
Consider your support system, including family, friends, mentors, or career counselors. Discuss your thoughts with trusted individuals who can provide valuable insights and guidance.

10. Am I prepared for the emotional impact of quitting?
Leaving a job can evoke a range of emotions, including relief, excitement, and uncertainty. Be prepared for these feelings and focus on maintaining a positive outlook for your future.

11. Do I have a backup plan?
While it’s essential to follow your aspirations, having a backup plan can offer peace of mind during the transition. Consider alternative options or short-term arrangements to support yourself if needed.

Prepare for the next career move

Once you’re confident about your decision to quit, it’s essential to have a clear plan for your next career move. Identify your career goals, research potential job opportunities, and update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Networking with professionals in your industry can also be beneficial in discovering job openings and gaining valuable insights.

You should also do some financial preparations before quitting. Some things you might consider doing are setting aside savings for monthly expenses, creating a monthly budget, and reducing nonessential spending. According to ConsumerAffairs research, 59% of people said more savings would allow them to take the leap.

Implement a structured exit plan

Choose the right time to resign

Timing is crucial when quitting a job. Consider the current workload, ongoing projects, and any significant events or deadlines within the company. Avoid leaving during critical phases of projects or during times of high demand. Ideally, plan your departure when your workload is manageable and you can ensure a smooth transition for your team.

Inform your manager in advance of your departure

Resigning from a job can be a shock to your manager and the team, but giving them a heads-up can help smoothen the process. Schedule a private meeting with your manager and communicate your decision professionally and respectfully. Express gratitude for the opportunities you’ve had at the company, and be prepared to discuss your transition plan and how you intend to wrap up your responsibilities.

Communicate with your future employer

If you have already secured a new job, it’s crucial to maintain open communication with your future employer regarding your start date and any other relevant details. Ensure a clear understanding of your notice period and any commitments you have before joining the new organization.

Give Proper Notice

Give a two-week notice

Once you’ve made the decision to quit, provide your employer with a formal resignation letter format, stating your last working day. The standard notice period is two weeks, but some companies may require longer notice, depending on your position and tenure. Adhere to the notice period to give your employer ample time to find a replacement and manage the transition.

Here is how to write a resignation letter »

Or browse resignation letter examples »

Plan for the transition period

During your notice period, work diligently to complete pending tasks and hand over responsibilities to colleagues. Document essential processes and update project statuses to ensure a smooth continuation of work after you leave. Offer assistance to your colleagues during the transition period, demonstrating your professionalism and commitment to the team until the very end.

Prepare for an exit interview

Many companies conduct exit interviews to gather feedback from departing employees. Be prepared to provide constructive feedback about your experience at the company, but always maintain a positive tone. Offer suggestions for improvement and focus on objective observations rather than personal grievances. The exit interview is an opportunity to leave the company with a positive impression, and burning bridges will not benefit your future career.

Safeguard your professional image at the company

Leave a good final impression

In your last few days, maintain a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards your work and colleagues. Avoid slacking off or leaving tasks unfinished, as this could tarnish your professional reputation. Make an effort to bid farewell to your colleagues and express your appreciation for their support and camaraderie.

Finalize all necessary departure details

Before leaving, inquire about benefits like unused leave days, sick days, and your 401k and pension plan. Don’t forget to ask for a reference, as a good letter of recommendation can be invaluable for your future career endeavors. Ensure that all administrative tasks related to your departure are completed. Return company property, and collect any personal belongings. Provide your contact information to colleagues you’d like to stay in touch with and connect with them on professional platforms like LinkedIn.


Quitting a job is a significant life event that should be handled with care and professionalism. Having a well-thought-out plan, following an exit strategy, giving proper notice, and leaving a good final impression are essential steps to ensure a smooth transition and uphold your good reputation at the company. By doing so, you’ll be better positioned to embark on the next exciting chapter of your career journey. Remember, every ending is an opportunity for a new beginning.