If you're about to quit your job, don't get carried away in the heat of the moment. Keep those bridges intact by following these simple rules to avoid future awkward professional situations.
The calendar may say early July, but it already feels like the dog days of late summer in Seattle. Hot temperatures have already been with us for several weeks, which can lead to tempers flaring in the office.
At some point in our careers, we’ve all wanted to follow the advice of Johnny Paycheck and tell our bosses exactly how we feel. But it’s always better to let cooler heads prevail — especially if you want a new job anytime soon.
We’ve reached a point in the post-recession recovery where we don’t have to stay in jobs we no longer consider fulfilling, so the number of workers jumping ship has increased of late. However, this should not be an excuse to act unprofessionally. The bridges you burn can continue smoldering long after your fleeting catharsis has passed. Here are some ways to make sure those embers don’t end up burning you in your next interview.
Quit in writing first. It may seem old-fashioned, but it’s best to gather your thoughts in writing and hand deliver them to your supervisor. You don’t have to write a novel, just explain succinctly your reason for leaving and let them know what date you plan to leave. Also, write down a few of your major accomplishments on the job and thank your employers for all they’ve done to help you succeed. Perhaps it could lead to your boss making an attractive counteroffer. It’s a slim chance, but it’s worth a shot.
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Give them time. Depending on what your next employer wants, try to be as flexible as possible in determining your final day. The standard is two weeks’ notice, but it might be a good idea to offer three or four to make the transition a bit smoother. If you know anyone who would be a good fit for your old employer, drop a few names. Your old boss will definitely appreciate the courtesy. You never know when you may end up working together again down the road.
Hold your tongue. This might be the hardest part of all, especially if you’re a cubicle warrior who has dreamed of the perfect, withering epithets to hurl at your despised supervisor. But remember that in today’s world, whether you’re in Manhattan, Kan., or Manhattan, N.Y., everyone is more tightly connected than ever before. Word of your behavior can spread like … well, wildfire. Any rudeness will undoubtedly work its way through the grapevine to future hiring managers — not an ideal situation when they begin doing employment checks.
So, let’s leave the flames for the Seattle Fire Department, shall we?