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  • Writer's pictureJena

Quittin' Time

Picture Courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio

How to quit successfully

For readers residing in the United States, Independence Day has just come and gone in a flash of fireworks. For many (between bites of hamburger or firework explosions, of course) this has also been a time to contemplate independence of a different sort- leaving one job behind and pursuing another. It is certainly a daunting task, but with the right preparation, quitting can be a brief step on the way to bigger and better things.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

"Should I Stay or Should I Go?" is not just a catchy Clash song- it's also the first step on the journey to quitting. Using a list is great way to capture your feelings about your job. What are the positives of your current job? What are the negatives? Why are you contemplating moving on? Perhaps you have run out of room to grow at your current company and it's time to discover more opportunities. Perhaps you are looking for more challenges or to make a career change.

Figuring out why you want to leave can help determine the speed in which you need to act. If you are simply looking for a change, you might take your time finding another job, whereas if you are working in a toxic work environment, you may want to make an exit as soon as possible.


Story time: Once, when I was in college, I was working and living at an apartment complex. I worked there a few years and finally decided- after a very stressful day- that I was under-appreciated and I wanted to leave. So I told my manager I was quitting in two weeks. I didn't think it through; I didn't have another job lined up and I certainly didn't have another place to live (I was living in my apartment on an employee discount.) Needless to say, it was a mistake. And it was one that I rectified by...well...telling my manager that I'd like to continue working there if possible. (God bless her, she allowed this tomfoolery, and I continued to live and work there.) I look back at this time in my life and laugh at how impulsive I was.

If you don't want to be like me (or Larry David ) you might want to make a plan before you leave your current place of employment, unless it is a completely untenable situation. If you want to quit and take some time off from the rat race, budgeting for your hiatus and building a cash cushion is important. If you want to move on to another company, it's time to dust off the old resume and start the job hunt.

Notifying your current employer

Should you give notice? In a popular TikTok video of the Women of TmrO podcast, a woman named D'Shonda Brown shared that she doesn't believe in giving two weeks notice when quitting a job since employers don't give notice when they are firing employees. The video went viral and elicited a lot of comments of support with viewers saying they felt the same way and didn't believe in providing a two-week notice either.

Every situation is different. Those working in a toxic or dangerous work environment or who have a family emergency or other serious issue might leave quickly without notice, whereas others who don't have an emergent issue and have a good relationship with their company or supervisors might want to provide notice.

It is important to note that people often use their past employers as references for future jobs. If you just stopped showing up to work one day, an employer might share that fact with potential employers and it could haunt you in the future. In addition, quitting suddenly and without notice could negatively impact your coworkers, who will have to scramble to pick up the slack.

So how do you quit? A simple letter can do the trick. And regardless of how you feel about the work, your boss, or any other aspect of your job, it's always best to do these three things:

1. Be polite!

2. Highlight the things you appreciated about your time at the company

3. Give a timeline for your departure


It's scary to contemplate moving on to another job or completely changing one's career, but with proper planning, everything can run smoothly.


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