These days when it is the time of so-called “the great resignation” and shortage of talents, people are changing jobs more than ever. It is no longer surprising when an employee quits after 6 months or a year and moves on with his or her career. While there are unlimited sources of information on how to find a job, how to perform well at the interview and be hired, I feel it is important to talk about how to quit a job as well. Even if you can’t wait to announce the news, slam the door and walk away without any explanations, it wouldn’t be the best idea. To name a few reasons why:  

  1. you never know when you might end up working with the same people again (remember, you are not the only one who is looking for new career opportunities); 
  2. you were an employee here but maybe one day you’ll work at a supplier company and you will have to deal with ex colleagues;
  3. maybe you want to start working independently on your own – your former employer can become your future client, if you keep good relationships;
  4. one day you might want to come back to work at the same company – it might get a bit more difficult to do it if you burnt all the bridges when you left.

In this article I want to share my point of view and a few tips on what I think is important to do after deciding to quit. First of all, your direct manager needs to be the first person to know about it. Yes, it might be tempting to discuss it with your buddy at work, a colleague from another department or even HR, but trust me – talking to your manager is the right thing to do. Secondly, be as honest as you can why you made your decision to quit, don’t try to cover your real reasons with some nice explanations. Sometimes it might be a bit tough for your manager to face it, but in the long run it can help the company to make better hiring decisions later. Also, when you are real when sharing your reasons, you will leave no room for interpretations. If you’re a manager, you belong to a management team, and you have your proper team that you supervise, discuss a communication plan with your direct manager when and how you are going to inform all your colleagues. There should be no long time gap between these actions. The best way to do it is to gather everybody in a meeting – whether physically or online. If a member of a team can’t participate, make sure you contact him or her personally as soon as possible and share the news directly. They deserve to hear it from you, not someone else.

When I quit my beloved company, I had the luxury of actually staying as long as it took to find someone to replace me, to hand over all the tasks and make sure I do not leave anything falling apart. I understand that it is not always the case but when you negotiate your start date at the new company, evaluate realistically  how much time you will need to finish and handover your work. Any company would understand and wait because that shows the responsibility of an employee and if one day he or she decides to quit, he or she will do the same thing and will not leave the company in trouble. If you can, leave as many descriptions for your replacement as possible explaining all the specifics, this will help enormously.

If you are willing, suggest to your manager that you could be available on the phone for an agreed period if something unexpected comes up and they need to consult with you.

Of course, not all of the things mentioned above are always easy to do, but it is all about the human workplace and relationship. Be the change you want to see happening.

If you are preparing to quit and you are not sure about some steps that I’ve mentioned, a coaching session can help to prepare your own exit plan.

With best wishes for growth,
Your thinking partner online, in France (Savoie), Switzerland (Geneva region)