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Marble Jar Gang Career Counseling: I Quit

The basic premise or formula is to recognize that when your skills + traits + behaviors are placed in the right environment the outcome will give you a greater chance of success and happiness in your work.

Whether you have found another job or just need to make a ‘break’ with your current company the goal is to be as graceful as possible. It can be an emotional event but never do this when you are simply angry or fed up. That bridge you just burned because you didn’t handle it well may be needed in the future. Planning ahead and being in the right frame of mind is critical before you give that notice, for whatever your reason.

1. Who you are notifying and in what order is important. Tell your manager first even before your favorite office friend. We have our reasons for this and one big one is that your ‘offer’ may be matched or even made better and you don’t leave after all. Plan to discuss the timing of your notice and your last day. If the supervisor gets angry or upset then be extra nice and courteous, respectful and gracious.

2. Notify your closest colleagues first then anyone who will be impacted by your decision and the timing of your notice. They may be given some of your work, temporarily. Also, they may want to try for your position.

3. Give your HR contact a heads up and see if they want to schedule an exit interview. You will want to verify your mailing address, if changed, for your tax paperwork.

4. Business as usual up until your last hour. No bragging about your new company or discussing your compensation. Never bad mouth your manager or this company. Set the highest standard of dignity, be an example for all in the best possible way.

5. In the last few days, sit down with the manager to tie up any loose ends, turn over appropriate files, keys and any offer to make a to-do list for your replacement.

If you are asked for an exit interview with your HR contact, be prepared to stick to the areas that have made the position a positive experience and any key learnings you can share to help make it a better place to work. Keep all gossip, bad-mouthing and personal attacks to yourself. Most of all be honest in your answers.

For a deeper dive into what your exit interview may look like, check out this link:

Your homework, before you quit, is to be prepared to tell your manager. Make a bullet pointed list of what you want to say and review it several times before you have the discussion. Put a marble in your jar.

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