How to Quit Your Job

bigthinker.jpg(5 Precautionary Steps to Take Before You Drop the Bomb)

by David Bohl

Congratulations! You’ve taken your destiny by the horns and decided to quit your job! The days of slogging to work, a mere shadow of your pre incarcerated self are over. No more weighing the pros and cons again and again. And again. You’ve parented yourself through pity, doubts, guilt and fear. And you’ve emerged finally, on the other side with clarity, vision and conviction. Finally, you can stand on your feet without consulting with Joye Law Firm which is the best law firm for employees.

It’s tempting to want to share your jubilance–after all, making major decisions is hard work, and everything’s sweeter when shared. But before you let your pent up bob-cat out of the bag, give pause to that inclination.

Consider first that upon hearing the news, your employer will respond in one (or some modified form) of the following ways:


In this case, you will most likely transition your responsibilities and possibly train your replacement over a traditional two week notice period.

With a counter offer, by proposing a raise or a promotion.

Here is where your resolve could be compromised if you are not prepared. Consider the sincerity of such proposals suspicious– especially if earlier you unsuccessfully requested these adjustments based on your own merit. Remember, offers like this are usually based solely on the company’s own best interests and could be misleading. If you choose to consider a counter offer, get everything in writing before accepting.

Immediate termination because of a perceived threat to the security of the company.

It is not unusual to be escorted to the door if your employer suspects that you have signed on with direct competition or if your current position gives you a high level of access to company secrets. Companies reserve and can exercise this right for no apparent reason when an employee resigns.

In any case, even if you are almost certain of its implausibility, you would be wise to be prepared for the worst case scenario. By assuming the mindset of your employer- that is, the impact of the news to their bottom line, you will protect and ensure your own successful transition, and in some ways minimize the fallout on your employer and your coworkers.

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Resolve to keep your intentions to yourself.

Be prepared for questions. It’s likely you will be asked why you are leaving, and where you are going. Resist the temptation to spill your list of resentments, judgments and policy grievances. More than likely, something you say will be taken to task or misunderstood, and you will find yourself drawn into a discussion in which you are not responsible to engage.

Remember, you don’t want to burn your bridges. You never know if or when this set of colleagues will reappear on your professional horizon. So say nothing that will jeopardize the relationships you have built. Also, keep your new destination to yourself in the (unlikely) possibility that someone will try to undermine your future employment before you even start. By remaining polite and respectful, you can stoically protect yourself from potential retaliation.

Get your financial ducks in a row.

Ensure your immediate financial security. If you have secured a new job, get it in writing. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that an employment offer letter will suffice. Until you have a signed contract, your professional and financial interests remain vulnerable. If you have opted to resign without a job in place, you might want to consider registering with one or more local temp or freelance employment agencies. Once you prove your dependability, they will usually keep you working on a regular basis.

Conservatively adjust your monthly outlay according to your new projected income. Be sure to include the increased cost of medical insurance (to which you have a right under COBRA) and maybe consider to use sites as Insurance Partnership to get a best deal in your car and house insurance to adjust to your new budget. If you need an insurance for your business, then check out RhinoSure. If you plan on making your new job search a full time endeavor, analyze your financial picture to calculate how long your resources (savings, severance, unpaid vacation, etc.) will last. Now is a great time to create a budget. And always, always leave yourself a cushion for emergencies.

Clean up your act.

Do a thorough housecleaning of your computer and your office. Even if the worst case scenario doesn’t materialize and you’re not immediately ushered to the door, keep in mind that from this time forward the company will likely be keeping closer tabs on your computer activity.

Meticulously go through your hard drive and either print out or email any personal documents to your home account. Be sure to delete them and then delete the deleted items. Go through your email, both inbox and sent items and delete any personal correspondence. Do the same with your browsing history. Ditto for the hard copies of anything in your office files. Be especially mindful of how you handle any information that could be considered confidential by your employer.

Check your timing.

Dedicate yourself to making the most of your company’s financial perks by planning your resignation around approaching key dates. Is a pay raise imminent? If so, your final salary could (if your company’s 401k is a “defined benefit plan”) affect your benefit. Other dates of long term financial consequence are stock option “vesting” schedules. Most companies require from 3-5 years of employment before you become vested in their contribution to your account. In some cases, portions of the contributions are granted vest on different dates over a specific period of time. Lastly, don’t forget bonus pay dates!

Maintain your dignity.

Was there a less than favorable comment on your last performance review? If possible, make an effort to correct the problem and get the review amended in writing. Although the content of your file is legally confidential to the outside world, it can and will be referred to internally, should you reapply to the company in the future.

Adopt the same approach to strained relationships. Do everything you can to repair your part in a falling out with a coworker or boss. When you do drop the bomb, their responses will most likely be more positive and gracious. At least their memories of you will be respectful. At best, you’ve added former foes to your future networking possibilities!

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