How to Quit Your Job in 5 Simple Steps

You know your job has to go. This position isn’t moving you closer to your professional goals, and your meager paycheck is barely covering the rising cost of your food and rent. You have no strong personal loyalty to your employer, and you know the feeling is mutual; if your company could save a few dollars by cutting your position, you’d be on the streets within a day.You’ve done the math, looked into your heart, and weighed the risks and benefits, and the answer is clear: you need to protect your mental health and your professional future…and this job isn’t supporting either of those efforts. So it’s time to hit the road. If you aren’t sure how to make this happen, start with these five simple moves.

1.Talk to your family.

This may mean your spouse and children, your parents and siblings, or your closest cadre of supportive friends. In either case, these are the people who love you and want what’s best for you, and they’re the ones who have the greatest investment in your own happiness and your personal career decisions. Don’t be afraid that these people will undermine your plans or talk you out of your decision—if it’s the right move for you, they’ll respect your choice and give you the validation and feedback you need in order to take action.

2. Create a timeline.

If you don’t have your next move in mind yet, that’s okay. You can still draft a timeline that will take you through the next few weeks, months, or years. Your personality will guide you; if you’re a cautious person who doesn’t like risk, you’ll want to secure a new position before you jeopardize your current one. If you’re flexible enough to handle some risk, you can start wrapping up your current projects and give notice to your boss before you have another job to step into. If you’re truly ready for the open road and you have plenty of confidence and a strong professional network, you can travel, volunteer, or work on your personal projects until some date in the future when you’re ready to start looking for a new job. But know when that date will be.

3. Touch base with your most valuable contacts.

Before you leave, strengthen your connections with coworkers and clients you’d like to hold onto in the future. Reach out, make lunch plans, connect on social media, and let these people know that you value the time you’ve spent with them and you respect their talents and the things they’ve done for you in the past. Don’t tell them that you’re leaving until you’ve told your boss, but after that, keep them in the loop.

4. Tell your boss.

Break the news as diplomatically and clearly as possible. Make a formal appointment and let your boss know that you respect the company and your tenure here…even if you don’t. No matter how burned out or resentful you feel, find a way to couch your statement in positive, professional terms. If your employer asks for feedback, be honest, but stay positive.Be prepared for a counter offer. If you receive an offer you weren’t expecting, ask for at least 24 hours to think about your answer.

5. Create a resume.

Do this before you leave your job, regardless of your timeline and future plans. This will be easier while your current job and recent accomplishments are still fresh in your mind. Use MyPerfectResume for formatting tools, templates, and personal guidance.