Do not, please, make off with the company stapler, or brag about how happy you are to be leaving, how great the job you're going to is, and how much more money you'll be making.
Maybe one of your new year’s resolutions is to quit your job. Congratulations! Just make sure you do it right.
First, of course, be certain that your new job is absolutely positively nailed down. Don’t be left out in the cold without a paycheck! After that, the quitting process can be broken down into three stages.
Number one, before you give notice, get your work up to date and organized. Remove personal stuff from your company computer. Clear your browser cache, remove passwords, delete personal email. Do you have any vacation or comp time coming? Know this now so you can make sure to get compensated.
Number two, when you give notice tell your boss in private and before you tell anyone else. Know in advance what you’re going to say and how. Display some regret–no one likes to be rejected, not even bosses. This is the moment that your boss ceases to be your boss and becomes part of your network. (In fact, now is a good time to ask for a letter of recommendation, to add to your portfolio.) Volunteer to train your replacement or otherwise make the transition easier. However, if you are escorted out the door right then, try not to take it personally. It’s policy at some companies.
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Finally, number three, how you act after you give notice is important, too. Follow up your in-person meeting with a letter. Just state you’re resigning as of such and such a date and say something positive about how much you enjoyed the job. (If you didn’t enjoy the job, you can always just say you learned a lot working there.) Do not, please, make off with the company stapler, or brag about how happy you are to be leaving, how great the job you’re going to is, and how much more money you’ll be making. Former co-workers are also part of your network.
And that, my friends, is quitting with class. As easy as one-two-three.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.