When You Quit, Be Civilized

The day comes when not all things line up the way you want or you simply got a better offer and decide to quit. Well, this happens on all hierarchic levels, but when you draw the line, make sure that leaving is the best choice. I am just sayin’! It would be a shame to regret the move, even if initially the grass seemed greener on the other pastures.


If you have decided to leave, I recommend not going to the current boss for a counter offer.

It’s good to be civilized, it weights a lot the way you performed at every job, but also how you left. A future employer may know someone inside your company, and that someone should be able to provide positive feedback about you.

What can you do before/when you know you are leaving:

  • Do your job to the best extent when you are on notice, even if you know you are about to leave and lack motivation. A man’s integrity shows off when he does something without obvious gain from it;
  • Tell your superior about your intentions in good time, remember integrity. Most of the times, legal notice is insufficient to find a replacement, not to mention the minimum time to pass your tasks to the new employee. You can even help finding a replacement;
  • It’s a very good time to provide constructive feedback, it may be taken into consideration and attract some changes in the company after you leave;
  • Try not to get involved emotionally. Sometimes breakups are not pleasant, especially when you spend a lot of time in that company;
  • Don’t throw dirt in the “exit interview”, which is not even mandatory. Going off like that doesn’t help anyone, not even yourself, though you cooled off for a moment. I always prefer individual discussions where each part can understand easier the reasons for quitting and what may change, instead of a form;
  • Stay in touch with former colleagues;
  • Create a to do list for your replacement, he/she will be very grateful and boost your image even more. If there is not replacement by the time you leave, you can leave the list to your employer;
  • Don’t forget to perform your duties up until the last day you get paid for, integrity again. Don’t leave unfinished business or mess under the rug;
  • Let the clients know that you are leaving and the way things are going to be from now on. If you leave them hanging, they might also turn their backs when you need them for another job;
  • Be polite and thank all those who taught you something;
  • Don’t exclude the possibility of ever coming back to that company. It might be a good place to work for and just the former boss to be the reason for you leaving.

If you feel that the employer or boss don’t deserve any of the above, you may be right, but most future recommendations will define who you are, you know, this is the the integrity I was telling you about.

If life got to you (and by life I mean your job/or your current boss) and you want to quit without having a future job option, don’t. Think about it for a week, so you won’t take a (bad) decision when angry, and if you still feel that way, endure another introspection week. You wouldn’t want to regret such an important decision, no matter how upset you are, but you can start looking for a job.

Good luck succeeding!

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