Sometimes, when quitting a job, it’s tempting to tell your boss what you really think of her. No matter how much you hate your manager’s guts or dislike the company, however, you should always leave emotion out of your reaction. Behaving anything less than professionally only hurts you in the long run. How you present your two weeks notice can have a lasting impact on your career prospects.
Because 86% of recruiters conduct reference checks to find out what it’s like to work with you, exiting gracefully is essential. If you leave a bad impression on your way out, your actions could haunt you in the long run. Read on to learn seven ways not to quit your job and how to instead do so with dignity.
7 Ways Not To Give Your Two Weeks Notice
1. Discussing your decision with your co-workers before your boss
When presenting your two weeks notice, make sure your direct boss or supervisor is the first person to know. Although it may be tempting to vent or mull things over with colleagues, these conversations can come back to bite you. The last thing you want is for your boss to find out you’re leaving through the grapevine.
Even though preliminary discussions with colleagues may seem innocent to you, they can come across as wildly disrespectful to your boss. The same goes for posting on social media. Before you tell the world, do the courteous thing and tell your manager.
2. Going out in a blaze of glory
Did you hate your job? Have you been dreaming of the day you could finally tell your supervisor how you really feel? If so, leave these thoughts where they belong: in your dreams. No matter how much you didn’t like your job or get along with co-workers, giving your two weeks notice is no time to burn bridges. After all, you may very well need those connections to vouch for you in a reference check. Leaving on bad terms can seriously jeopardize your next job search.
“We had an employee who left a really bad impression when she quit,” says staff trainer Brian M. “A few weeks later, a different position opened up in the company that she would have been perfect for. Because she did burn bridges on her way out, unfortunately, no one trusted her and we did not let her know about the new opportunity.” Always resign with grace. For better or worse, you never know how your behavior at the moment could impact the big picture.
3. Submitting your resignation letter before having a conversation
Letting your manager know you’re leaving can be a difficult conversation. Even though you may feel awkward or uncomfortable, resist the urge to submit your two weeks notice in writing before having that conversation. It’s important to tell your boss to his or her face to avoid any possible blindsiding effect. Remember that your decision isn’t personal; it’s business. Your supervisor will appreciate your candor.
4. Writing a casual or lengthy letter
Once you’ve given your two weeks notice to your boss in person, there’s no need to submit an elaborate, written resignation. The letter itself is a formality; treat it as such. Keep your message short, professional, and to the point. It’s not necessary to go into detail about why you’re leaving or, if you already have another job lined up, who your next employer is. Simply state that your letter is a notice of resignation and let your employer know when your last day will be.
5. Believing you can’t negotiate your last day
Two weeks is the standard minimum notice you’re required to give, but you can always negotiate your last day. When you notify your boss of your intent to resign, for example, he or she may ask if you can stay longer to help with hiring your replacement. If you have the time to commit, it’s a good idea to work with the needs of your employer. On a practical note, extra time in your current position may also preserve strong professional relationships.
6. Quitting without expressing gratitude
This tip goes for both your written two weeks notice and conversations with your boss. At the end of your resignation letter, close the message by expressing gratitude for the opportunities you had. In face-to-face meetings, thank your supervisor for the guidance and support he or she gave you. This is one of the best ways to make a good impression on your way to your next endeavor. Being gracious helps keep your professional network intact.
7. Leaving a mess behind for co-workers to clean up
Your job isn’t over once you’ve given your two weeks notice. Keep your head in the game and go out with a bang, in a good way. Show respect for your colleagues and supervisor by tying up as many loose ends as possible. Finish tasks or distribute ongoing ones to co-workers. If you have important account information, make sure to pass it along to the appropriate parties.
It’s also courteous to create how-to guides for your interim and permanent replacements. If applicable, you should help with the onboarding and training of the person who will replace you. Make the most of your remaining time and put your boss and team in the best position possible. They will remember you for it. As your last day approaches, send a message to colleagues saying how great it was to work with all of them and that you’d like to stay in touch.
Time for a new cover letter
Resigning from your current job with grace is just one important part of career progression. Whether you start the job search process before or after you give your two weeks notice, you’ll need to turn your attention to what comes next. To land your next position, it’s vital to update your cover letter and resume to reflect your most recent experience.
For help capturing your achievements and duties, head over to Cover-Letter-Now’s easy resume builder. We walk you through the process of creating a personalized resume, no writing experience required.