How To Quit Your Job – Advice from a Career Counsellor

How to Quit. Advice from a career counsellor

You have the new job offer in writing, and now you’re figuring out the best way to quit your current job. Maintaining a positive relationship with your soon to be ex-manager is in your best interests, both for your professional reputation, and the fact that reference checks may be requested from them by future employers further down the track. So what does a career counsellor suggest you do, and don’t do?


* Find a time to speak to your manager first, before submitting your formal resignation in writing. This is common professional courtesy.

* Work out your full notice period.

* Continue working at your best level: working at a half hearted pace during this time or leaving things in a mess for your successor is a bad look. We know it can be difficult to stay motivated when you know you aren’t going to be around for the long term, but do your best to stay engaged and committed (or at least act like you are!) until you walk out the door for the final time. Last impressions can be long term ones!

* Discuss with your boss how to make the best use of your remaining time and how to tie up any loose ends. Work together on a plan to finalise important things, and train other people in the tasks you were doing to ensure a smooth transition as possible. It is perhaps counter intuitive, but leaving things so they become a mess after you gone – doesn’t mean people will appreciate you more after you have gone!

* Express gratitude to colleagues and managers past and present for all you have learned in the job. People quit jobs for many different reasons and sometimes we are ‘dancing out the doors’. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to reflect on what your job and work experiences gave you personally and showing gratitude to those who helped you.

* Be professional and clear in your messaging and avoid throwing grenades as you exit the organisation. Now is not the time to engage in unnecessary politics.


* Schedule your resignation to occur at the beginning of the holidays or a period of approved leave. If you do your employer gets minimal time to replace you.

* Use up all of your remaining sick leave during the period of notice as though it’s your entitlement.

* Come in late or leave early during your notice period. This shows a disregard for your colleagues and your workplace. People tend to remember you at the end, and it can influence their whole view of who you were and what you were like.

* Be tempted to gossip with others in the tea-room, make derogatory remarks about management, or go changing your story about why you’re resigning, depending on who’s asking.

* And lastly – even if you’ve had a negative experience at this particular workplace, never refuse to show up to your own farewell.

Stay classy and professional when it comes time to quit your job. It’s only for a little bit longer!

If you would like the advice of a professional career counsellor or executive coach to better understand whether you should be quitting something in 2017 then give us a call and book an appointment today – 1800 284 255 or email us here – Let’s Talk Career work nationally across Australia and have career counsellors and executive coaches in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Far North Queensland.

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