Are You Quitting a Job? Here is What NOT to Do

By Robert Half on March 23, 2016 at 4:00pm

Quitting a job can evoke a variety of conflicting emotions, from nostalgia for the job you’re leaving behind to great relief to anticipation for the new position. But emotions should not drive how you quit a job.

We surveyed more than 600 human resources managers about the most unusual way they have heard of someone quitting a job. Here are nine real-life examples of how not to quit, in addition to some tips on exiting gracefully.


1. Sticky business

The employee who used a sticky note to explain why he was quitting gave new meaning to the term “thinking small.”


2. Extended bathroom break

One employee went to the bathroom and didn’t return. Enough said.


3. Tell one, tell all

The employee who quit by sending an email blast to the entire staff may be limited in future endeavors — unless “town crier” comes back as a hot job.


4. Bricking it

An irate employee tossed a brick with “I quit” taped to it through a window. Not exactly a great way to “build” your career.


5. Informing the wrong people

One employee told coworkers it was his last day but forgot to let his boss or the HR manager know. “I knew I was forgetting something…”


6. Spousal assistance

Don’t delegate uncomfortable conversations. One employee had his wife call in to say he wouldn’t be returning to work.


7. Going shopping

Maybe the woman who went out to buy boots and never returned was hoping to get a salary “hike” at a new job.


8. Antisocial media

Quitting a job through a Facebook post, as one employee did, won’t get you a lot of “likes.”


9. This one takes the cake

Baking a cake with your resignation letter on top isn’t in good taste — unless you’re leaving to open a bakery.


Quitting a job the right way

How you end up quitting a job can have lingering repercussions. In the OfficeTeam survey these outlandish examples were taken from, 86 percent of HR managers polled said the manner in which someone quits a job will affect that person's future career opportunities. Consider these tips:

  • Let your boss know first. Your manager won’t be pleased to learn of your departure through the office grapevine. Give him or her the courtesy of being the first to know you’re leaving.
  • Offer enough notice. Give your boss a least two weeks’ notice so he or she can begin the process of identifying your replacement and plan for someone to cover your workload.
  • Keep it low-key. Making a dramatic exit might sound exciting or cathartic. But the impression you leave will last — and it won’t be a good one. Even if you’re fed up with your job, resist the urge to tell your boss what you really think on your way out the door. You’ll only burn a bridge.
  • Remain focused. Remember that you are still on the company payroll until your last day. Don’t check out. Rather, use your remaining time to tie up loose ends and makes sure colleagues have the information and instructions they need to keep things moving once you leave.
  • Leave the counteroffer on the table. Counteroffers are often more of a temporary bandage than a cure. While you may feel valued in the short term, the issues that prompted you to consider leaving will likely surface again.
  • Stay in touch. Give your colleagues your email address. Be proactive and reach out via LinkedIn.

Quitting a job and looking for another one? Robert Half can help you find a new opportunity in a variety of professional disciplines.


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