How to Handle the “I Quit” Conversation

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BY ANN BROWN

There will most likely come a time in your career when you will choose to leave a job. But like landing the job, exiting a job can be challenging as well. You, of course, want to leave on a good note and to give your company ample time to prepare for your replacement, but still the conversation with your boss could be difficult.

“How you leave a job can be just as important as what you did while you were there. You don’t want to burn any bridges because you never know when you might encounter a former colleague down the road in your career,” explains Brandi Britton, district president of staffing firm OfficeTeam.

Be direct with your boss. “Don’t let your boss learn of your departure through the grapevine. Make sure to tell him or her first before word spreads. Often, the best approach is to schedule a private, in-person meeting with your manager. During the meeting, keep upbeat. If you’re leaving for a better opportunity, let your boss know what you’ve enjoyed about working with the company,” offers Britton.

Communication is key. Participate in an exit interview if it’s offered. Be honest with your feedback, but keep it constructive and professional. Your comments and suggestions could potentially help to improve the workplace,” says Britton.

If you are quitting your job because of bad conditions on the job, you still should remain diplomatic. “You may be leaving due to challenging situations or negative experiences, but it’s not the time to hold a grudge, badmouth people or pour your heart out about what you hated. Be positive as much as possible and keep your comments constructive,” says Britton.

Make sure to make it official with a resignation letter, and an email that will confirm your final day. Als, ask your boss if you should tell your co-workers in a group meeting.

When asked where you will be going, be honest, but there is no need to share details about your next job.