How to Quit a Job the Right Way (Step-by-Step Guide)

Updated November 21, 2022

You may be happy today with your current job, but at some point in your career, you may want to change your current position and seek employment elsewhere. The way you quit your job has an impact on your career and the employer. This rings true even for quitting a part-time job. Whether you have another job offer, you are leaving town, or you want time off from work, you have to quit in the right way. In this article, we explain how to quit a job and what to do before leaving your current position.

What to do before quitting a job

If you are considering leaving a job, think about how to quit professionally and gracefully. You may not know about tomorrow; some people move back to their former companies. If you leave on unfavourable terms, you may not get the chance to return. Here is a list of things you should do before quitting.

Related: 13 Signs To Help You Decide When To Quit Your Job

Aim to quit with honour and dignity

The way you handle issues can determine your character. For your employer to see dignity, appreciation and honour, consider leaving your job on good terms. Consider your morals and avoid speaking ill of the management or your supervisors. Making coworkers or the company look bad only describes the negative side of your character. Leaving with honour and dignity can elevate the willingness of your manager to write you a good letter of recommendation.

Consider the cost of quitting

If you have found another job or are hoping to get a better job, think twice about the other job before leaving your current one. Things may seem better before you get there, but you may not understand the challenges before your arrival. Jobs have their pros and cons, pluses and minuses, but the key is being realistic. Sometimes running away from a challenge or a problem is not always the solution. Consider if the reason for quitting can be resolved and whether the other job has the resolution and other advantages.

Related: Should I Quit My Job?

Provide your employer with an opportunity to address the issues

Before you quit, identify the reasons and assess if they can be resolved. In case they involve the management, consider informing them. For example, if you have a problem with coworkers, supervisors or the company, explaining it to the administration can provide room for remedy. You may even decide not to quit once the issues are solved. Although your employer may not fix some problems unless you give them a chance, you may not know whether it is possible or impossible. If the management cannot resolve the issue, give them time to find your replacement.

Related: Common Reasons for Leaving a Job and How to Explain Them

Honour your commitments

Whether you are on a contract, permanent or temporary employment, your employers expect loyalty. It is an expectation that a loyal employee will provide honest services to be paid. The plans to quit the job should not make you lazy, unproductive and inefficient. Before you quit, ensure you are leaving your position in good shape.

Ensure you do not leave your employer and your successor complaining about backlogs and the poor state of your position when you quit. Leave a legacy of excellent performance and a good reputation. You may be excited about the next job, but don't allow it to make you lose your focus. Work diligently to the last day. Even when you are sure you may not complete your project before leaving, make significant progress and leave detailed notes.

Search for another job during your free time

Looking for another job during your working hours and using the resources of your employer is like stealing. The company is providing the resources to help you complete its projects. Employers pay you to work for them, and using their time to search for other jobs is working against the employer. Consider scheduling the job hunt task after your working hours.

Related: Tips on How To Look for a New Job While Still Employed

Don't share information about your current employer

Business data, contacts, reports and plans are a business's intellectual property. Sharing this information to get another job is stealing and dishonest. Even when there is no confidentiality agreement in place with your current employer, consider your morals and act as if you do. Employees who steal and cheat are violating the trust of their employers and coworkers.

Leave without influencing others to quit

With a reason for quitting a job, leave silently without conspiring with others. Creating a scheme for a group of employees to quit shows a lack of integrity. You can cause disastrous consequences to the employer, who may have to lose other good employees after losing you. Cause no harm to your employer by not influencing other people to quit. If you decide to leave, let this be your decision, don't discuss it with other employees before discussing it with the management. It shows disrespect when your employer hears your decision through company gossip. Ensure you are the one to inform your employer.

How to quit a job step-by-step

It takes little effort to leave a job gracefully and find professional ways of quitting. Leaving your job on bad terms can make the last days uncomfortable. Besides, how you resign can impact your career and job hunting in the future. The following steps will help you successfully quit a job:

1. Decide if it is the right quitting time

Resigning from your current job should be a decision you make after carefully thinking about it. Take your time to consider if leaving is the right choice. Create a plan of how and when you should quit after considering why you are quitting. The duration you consider thoughtfully will give you room to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your current job. If you feel overwhelmed or dissatisfied by your responsibilities and functions, discuss the management issues to see if they can alleviate your problem. If you are quitting for another job, you may want to wait until officially accepting the offer. In case you resign before getting another job, the employment gap can impact your financial state.

2. Inform your employer

Before you surprise your boss with a resignation letter, inform your boss that you are quitting. Address the issue wisely when informing them. Express gratitude for the duration you have worked there and explain to the boss that it is time for another challenge. You may explain the reason for quitting, but it is not a must. Discuss the last days and when you are planning to leave. However, if you are unsure that your boss will take your resignation news positively, you can send a written resignation notice and explain it later.

Related: How To Tell Your Boss You're Quitting (With Example)

3. Give proper notice

Commonly, employees give at least two weeks' notice before resigning. If you are serving under contract terms, honour your contract and observe the rules regarding resignation notice. However, depending on how long you are available before you report to the next job, you can stay longer to usher in a smooth transition.

Related: What You Need to Know About Your Two Weeks' Notice Letter

4. Submit a resignation letter

A written resignation letter is an official notice indicating that you are quitting the job. Some companies only accept written resignation notices instead of verbal ones. The notice can be sent as an email, a letter or both. In the notice letter, start with a salutation and then write the statement explaining your resignation decision and the date of your last day as an employee of the company. With two or three sentences, show gratitude before formally ending the letter with your name. You can also include transition plans depending on your position and company policies.

Read more: How to Write a Resignation Letter (With Samples and Tips)

5. Finalise or pass off your outstanding work

Before officially quitting a job, complete ongoing projects and work with your manager to determine how and who will continue or complete the incomplete projects. Provide information about where you have been saving critical documents for your successor. Besides showing them how to operate various machines, equipment and other details of your job.

6. Share gratitude and appreciation for the job opportunity

Sometimes a job is more than a way of making a living. Leaving a job you are passionate about may not be easy since passionate people create bonds with colleagues, clients and managers. The position may also have provided you with the support needed to develop your career, and leaving without appreciating it may not feel good. Consider finding time to thank colleagues, supervisors and your employer. Being thankful in such a situation is not the only etiquette, but you will also help grow a network. You may not know when your coworkers will need your help or vice versa.

7. Get references

Before leaving a company, it can be helpful to ask for a letter of recommendation from your manager and to check whether the employer will give you a good reference. You can ask them to leave a reference on social media platforms. If you are quitting the right way and gracefully, you may get several people willing to offer positive references.

Related: Key Steps to Asking for a Reference

8. Check if you are eligible for employee benefits

Some companies offer employee benefits after resignation. Your service time may determine your eligibility. You may also receive other compensation for your services. Before leaving, inquire about the compensations you are entitled to and initiate claiming the benefits.

9. Pack your personal items

After discussing with your employer about your resignation, you may start to pack your things from the locker and desk. You can pack a few items in a day to ensure you do not disrupt your work schedule. You have some time before your resignation.


Just remember that the goal is to leave your boss and company on good terms. No matter what methods you choose to use, be polite and clear. You should always indicate your gratitude for everything you have been given. The last thing you want to do is offend people who could help you in the future. It's not easy when you decide to leave. You may feel regret – or even uncertainty – but it is never too late to learn how to quit your job the right way and make the transition easier.

Related: What To Include in a Retirement Letter of Resignation

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