Patrick Ball @PatrickBall

recovering journalist. content and strategy at writing about policies, problems and benefits affecting working families.

How Not to Quit Your Job

The do's and don'ts of quitting your job

Employee confidence appears to be at an all time high. But you know what employees are more confident in than their employers? 

Themselves. That's right -- they're confident in their companies, sure. But, buoyed by the rebounding economy, today's talent is increasingly willing to bet on themselves. 

According to GlassDoor’s latest Employee Confidence Survey, more than 40 percent employees expect a raise in the next year, and 35 percent of employees said they're ready to start looking if they don't get the pay increase they're banking on. And, get this: nearly 50 percent are confident that they'll be able to find a new job that matches their experience level and expectations for compensation. 

Confident though they might be, professionals considering new opportunities would be wise to look before they leap. Because, while there's no wrong way to eat a Reese's, there is most definitely a wrong way to quit your job. 

There are several, in fact. Here's a look at some of the do's and don'ts to keep in mind when considering a career change. 

Don’t: Broadcast Your Decision – Online or Offline
It can be tempting to talk to your friends and colleagues about your decision, but you don’t want your manager to catch wind of your plans to leave before you’re ready to tell him or her. And you don’t want to live-tweet your departure from the company Twitter handle (or your own, for that matter).

Do: Tell Your Boss First
Sure, you have office buddies you want to share the news with, but news of your departure isn’t something your boss should hear second-hand. Once you’ve decided to leave your job, the first person you should tell is your manger – and do it face-to-face.

Don’t: Badmouth Your Company
You know the drill – If you don’t have anything nice to say… Anyway, think twice before writing a scathing review bashing the company culture on GlassDoor or another job board. You never know when you’ll run into these people again – and if you wind up wanting to boomerang (“Gee, the grass wasn’t really greener..”), you’ll want the door to be open.

Do: Be Honest
Be upfront about your plans so that you can maintain and build on the relationships you already have, and keep your former co-workers part of your professional network. Even if you’re leaving with a bad taste in your mouth, being honest with constructive criticism in your exit interview could prevent a colleague or former co-worker from having to go through the same situation.

Don’t: Try to Sabotage Your Company
No matter the reason you’re leaving, it’s never OK to try and sabotage your company by leaking information, deleting files or stealing plans or contacts. Do your best to leave on good terms and make the transition as smooth as possible – even if it means training your replacement.

Do: Leave Graciously
Even if you can’t get out of there fast enough, it’s important to appear gracious and grateful for the time you spent with the organization. Although there may have been some sticky situations, you should thank your boss for the opportunity and keep in mind the positives – the things you learned and relationships you built. Plus, you never know when you could run into these folks again.

Don’t: Storm Out on the Job
Disagreements happen and tempers can flare, but don’t let your emotions cloud your judgment. Storming out or quitting abruptly after an argument is almost always a poor career decision. Even if you’re technically an “at-will” employee, it’s best to stick with the universal standard of giving two weeks’ notice when leaving a job.

Do: Keep Your Head Up (and Your Emotions in Check)
Regardless of the circumstances, you don’t want to make a difficult situation even more difficult. So, try to keep emotions out of it. Leave on good terms and don’t burn any bridges. The business world is small, and the rise of professional networking sites like LinkedIn has made it even smaller. The same way you want to make a great first impression, it's important to leave a positive lasting impression as well.