HOW TO leave YOUR JOB + the professional way



Decades ago, it wasn’t uncommon for people to land their first job, move through the ranks, and retire from the same company 30-40 years later. However, times have changed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics surveyed in January 2018, the median employee tenure at a company was 4.2 years.

Employees quit their jobs for different reasons:  to advance, change careers entirely, make more money, or enjoy more flexibility. They may, also, quit because they suspect, or know, they are about to be laid off, due to a company reorganization or a budget cut. Whether you are considering quitting your job, based on your own terms, or because you want to avoid being let go, the path forward will be simpler with the right course of action and overall mindset.


“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.”– Tony Robbins

It is natural to feel apprehensive about quitting your job. You may feel a sense of guilt and worry that your departure will negatively affect your current company. The truth is, most employees, are expendable. You may be a valuable employee to the organization, but your employer, and the company, will survive without you.

You may worry that if you quit, your manager or colleagues will feel abandoned or betrayed. The truth is, they might, but that should never be a reason to stay in an environment that doesn’t set you up for success. Your top priority should be to make decisions that benefit you, not others. Staying in a job because you feel a sense of obligation isn’t good for you, your colleagues, or employer.


“Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Once you decide to quit, the next order of business is to figure out how to actually follow through with it. You have probably seen viral videos of people quitting their jobs in dramatic fashion; letting their employers know how much they didn’t feel respected or valued. If you plan to quit your job because you don’t like your boss or you feel mistreated or disrespected, resist the temptation (strong as it may be) to go out in a blaze of glory.

Truth is: you may need your employer to provide a reference for you. Or, you may discover the grass isn’t greener on the other side, and the job you quit was actually not that bad. In the future, you never know when, or in what circumstances, you will encounter your former boss or coworkers. Burning a bridge may feel satisfying in the moment but it could absolutely backfire later on in life!

Do the Deed the Right Way

Deciding to quit your job is often hard; doing it should be easier with these helpful tips:

  • First, approach your direct manager (the person who hired you and who you report to) and request a brief in-person meeting. Friday or Monday mid-morning could be a good time to break the news. This way, you are not bombarding them, as soon as they walk in the door or leaving for the weekend, with unfortunate news on their minds.
  • At minimum, offer two weeks’ notice. If you’ve been at an organization for a while and play a key role, possibly offer longer. Also, offer to help train your replacement to help ease the transition in any way you can.
  • Be prepared to answer tough questions about why you are quitting, what it might take for you to stay, how the organization can improve, and possibly some tears! Do not badmouth anyone on your way out. Instead, offer helpful, productive, and insightful feedback.
  • After you tell your direct manager, let the rest of your team know in a way that respects their time and allows them to ask you follow up questions.

In all, the act of leaving your job requires thought, patience, and an upbeat attitude. Be sure to thank your employer and coworkers for the time you had together and leave on a positive note!





Katy Doyle is a Recruiter at Lutz Talent with over nine years of experience in the recruiting industry. Her primary responsibility is placing candidates for Lutz Talent clients, as well as assisting with filling internal roles at Lutz. Doyle specializes in search and staffing for accounting and finance positions.

  • Recruiting
  • Accounting and Finance Industry
  • Networking


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