Surefire Tips to Quit Your Job and Still Impress Your Boss

by Joe Flanagan

How to Quit Job

So, you interviewed and received an offer from a great company you want to work for, but now you must quit your current job. What about the job you are leaving? How will you quit? Leaving a job can be difficult for both your boss and for you, but you can leave with a smile by impressing your boss while walking out the door.

While some employees may be able to utilize outplacement services, if you're not one of the lucky employees who received this as part of their benefits package these tips below will help you when clinching that next job after resigning.

Write a Resignation Letter

Writing a resignation letter is key to start the conversation about your next steps. If you were a fantastic employee and didn’t let on that you were looking to make a move, this could come as a shock to your boss. How you craft the letter can set the tone for your last two weeks or so. Here are key topics to cover in the resignation letter:

  • Why you are making a move
  • What you learned
  • How you will view your former employer
  • Your plan and recommendations for your replacement

Your resignation letter demonstrates that you are thinking more about your employer rather than merely thinking about yourself. Craft a solid game plan for finding and training your replacement. This will impress your boss.

Do it in Person

You want to turn in your resignation letter in person. Physically give them the resignation letter with the outline of your game plan. According to HBR, having the conversation in person will show your boss that you are determined to leave and your desire to minimize disruption at the workplace. If you like you can take your boss out to lunch or dinner, but do it in person. Anytime an employee leaves a job it can be difficult for bosses to handle the changes; a conversation can help your boss make decisions they were not prepared to make. At the end of the conversation, you want your boss to have a solid idea about how they can replace you and an idea on how the transition will look. 

Maintain Professionalism

Be professional throughout the transition. Ensure all your work is taken care of and leave no surprises for your boss. Map out all aspects of your work that is pending and ensure your boss is aware of all the key players in your work. Keep the transition positive and transparent. Keep working hard to the last minute, don’t slack off or perform sloppy work. You want to maintain a high level of professionalism to the very end.

Give a Stellar Review

Offer to give the company and your boss a recommendation. Recommendations are not just for job seekers; workplace review site recommendations carry more weight these days. You can offer to write a recommendation online; on your LinkedIn profile, or provide one during the exit interview with your employer. Keep the review honest and positive, the recommendation will surely impress your former employer.

Be Prepared

Your boss might be so impressed that they might fight to keep you. Be prepared for a counter offer. They might provide more money, vacation time, or perks. This counter offer might be tempting and make you feel good, but bear in mind the reasons you started looking for a new job in the first place. Make it clear to your soon to be former employer exactly why you are making the move and stick with your decision. If you made a great impression with your departure, you will likely be hired back if you wanted to return. 

Say Goodbye

On your last day, prepare a small speech and say goodbye with style. Thank your coworkers and manager for the opportunities at the company. Make it short, positive and uplifting. A great goodbye makes for a great final impression. As you leave your company with a smile, prepare yourself at making that great first impression with your new job.


Joe Flanagan is the Senior Career Advisor at Velvet Jobs, a career transition firm that assists job-seekers with resume building, job search and interview skills plus employers with brand management. When he's not trying to reduce the unemployment rate you can find him running 5kms or backpacking around the globe.

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