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How to quit your job without p*%$ing off your boss

By Sarah Bloomfield on 18.11.15 in Finding a job

Resigning your position is never pleasant - whatever your reason. It may be that you have been offered a dream job that you would be a fool not to take, or you might want to go travelling for a while. On the flip side, you might have just had enough and not have anything in place to move on to, but the thought of staying a second longer is enough to make your want to stick pins in your eyes. Whatever your reason, it is vital you resign with dignity. Karma is a bitch and you don't want it kicking your ass further down the line. 

The most dignified way to do this squirm-inducing task is to first write your letter of resignation. Quitting over the phone, by text or email is NEVER ok, unless it is a dire emergency and then it is best to call your boss and explain the mitigating circumstances. Of course, if your boss is a narcissistic, sadistic nightmare, you would love nothing more than to flick him the finger and with a swish of your tail-coat, saunter on out of there, but as has already been pointed out, this could do long-term damage to your career, given that your new employer will want a reference. 

When you write your letter, keep it short, sweet and professional. Put your name and position at the top and then write something along the lines of 'it is with regret that I must resign my position because'. If you have a new job, state that, but if you haven't got a reason other than you are sick to the back teeth of your employer, say you are leaving for 'personal reasons'. You need elaborate no further. Go on to say that you have learnt much and value the opportunities the company has afforded you- even if you want to do the opposite. Your resignation letter may be pulled out by HR if they need a quick refresher of whom you were, when a reference request comes through. 

Next, make an appointment for a one-to-one with your boss. Explain in person that you are leaving and reiterate all the positives that you highlighted in your resignation letter. Think of this as damage limitation for your future and put aside any feelings of personal loathing. 

When you do quit, make sure you give them the required notice. You could be on a tedious three months' notice, but if you are hoping your employer will be flexible and release you earlier you may need to assist them in finding a replacement. Be proactive and offer to help in the search and write a comprehensive set of handover notes. If they find someone before you leave, make an effort to train your successor properly and keep it professional - no slagging off the company in the kitchen. All this will allow you to leave with your head held high and your reputation in tact.

Don't forget to make sure you get all you are entitled to in terms of unused leave and ask HR what happens with your company pension scheme - will it move with you or be frozen. 

Lastly, invite your team out for a leaving drink. It's a nice touch and shows no hard feelings. Just make sure you don't get so drunk that you end up saying something that will bring your carefully built house of cards tumbling down around your ears.