How To Quit A Job Professionally In 2022 | (Examples Inside)

“I quit!” You might need to say those words at some point in your career. You could be:

  • Leaving for a new opportunity with another employer
  • Starting your own business
  • Leaving town
  • Leaving a toxic boss/work environment
  • Taking some time off to focus on your wellbeing/family/education

Regardless of your reasons, it would be best to say those words in the right way. In our experience, how you express those words can define your entire working career. Why?

Employers these days care a lot about what your former employers and co-workers think about you. Even if you are setting up your own business, leaving your current job the wrong way can create future enemies, ruin your professional reputation, and make it hard to reach your career goals.

On the other hand, leaving your job the right way can boost your professional credentials, give you references, and expand your network. 

There is a right way to quit, and we will show you how in this piece. Here, we will cover everything from giving the official notice, handing in your resignation letter, facing the exit interview, and tying up other loose ends.

We understand that some people quit their jobs because of their toxic work environments. In such cases, they may not even know how to get a job. That is why we also included a section to help you get started on finding a new job.

How To Quit A Job Professionally

Quitting a job is an emotional, financial and professional decision. You need to do it right so you don’t end up burning bridges you may need in the future. 

We divide the job quitting process into seven simple steps to make this simple. They are:

  • Evaluate Your Role At The Company First
  • Submit A Written Or Electronic Two Weeks Notice
  • Provide Feedback (Optional)
  • Schedule A Meeting (Exit Interview) With Your HR Representative/Supervisor
  • Finalize The Transition Process
  • Ask For A Reference
  • Return Any Company Property

Pro-tip: If you ever expect to work for another employer in the future, you need to properly define why you are leaving your current employer. This is because all future employers will ask why you left your last job. Some of the best reasons to give are:

  • Health Reasons: Your job puts you at risk physically or emotionally, or you or a family member had an illness that required full-time care.
  • Schedule: You want a job with flexible hours or that allows you to rest on holidays, nights, or weekends.
  • Education: You want to advance your professional knowledge or enter a new field.
  • Family: You need a job that allows you to spend more time with your family.
  • Career Change: You want to switch to a different career path.
  • Relocation: You or your family are relocating to a different city/state.
  • Fulfillment: You don’t feel fulfilled and need to change the working environment.

Notice we didn’t mention ‘toxic boss’ in the above list? It’s bad manners to bad mouth your previous employer. Simply say you needed a better working environment.

1. Evaluate Your Role At The Company First

No, we are not asking you to change your mind. We only ask that you take some time to reflect on your role. The two most important questions to answer are:

  • What value do I offer to the company?
  • What value does the company offer to me?

Answering these two questions will give you the peace of mind to resign — or maybe negotiate a new working contract with your employer.

If you settle on leaving, your answers will help you decide your next career steps and the kind of job role you will need in the future.

If you decide to reconsider your decision, talk with your supervisor or a representative from human resources. You might end up getting a better deal than you would outside of the company. If you don’t, simply continue with your resignation.

However, do not attempt to get a better deal by threatening resignation. It is unprofessional. Also, many employers don’t take well to being strong-armed and can ruin your professional reputation for this.

Those who value your work and can offer more will do so without the threat of resignation. Those who appreciate your work but cannot offer better terms will tell you flat out.

As for those who don’t value your work, it may be in your best interest to part ways with your current employer.

2. Submit A Written & Electronic Two Weeks Notice

It is standard practice to give your employer a two weeks notice period. If your employment contract stipulates a different length of notice, honor it. Remember, you are trying to act like the professional you are.

In most cases, a two weeks notice is enough. Less than that, and you might breed resentment. Staying more than two weeks can make your resignation weak. Your employer might even think you are unsure of your decision.

Yes, we mentioned written and electronic notices. However, if you have a good relationship with your company, it is best to talk to your boss first. Give them the heads up before you send it in the mail. 

If you feel tempted to leak the news to a co-worker first, don’t! Your boss should hear it come from you first. During the talk, be firm but polite. Don’t talk about negatives like low pay, burnout, or bad working conditions. 

One way to break the news is to say, “Tim, I got a job offer last week, and I accepted. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with you and the team. I will be submitting my resignation letter later today.”

Ideally, your resignation letter should have been ready before you broke the news to your boss. You should submit both a written and electronic version to your employer. This way, you can ensure your employer is aware of your resignation without delay. Your resignation letter should contain the following:

  1. Your intention to resign from your current role at the company
  2. The date of your last day at work (Ideally two weeks from the day you submit the letter)
  3. Something positive about the job or company and an offer to make the transition as smooth as possible (If you can’t think of any, skip this step.)


Here is a sample resignation letter:

“Dear Mr. Johnson,

I’m writing to tell you I’m resigning from [Company Name]. I’ve loved every second of the three years I have spent here, and I am grateful for the opportunity to grow my skills and talents. 

However, I have accepted a new position elsewhere. It is a big step for me, and I look forward to the exciting challenges.

Please, let me know if there is anything I can do to ensure a smooth transition.

Best regards,

Clare Smith”

Once you’ve alerted your boss and submitted written and electronic copies of your resignation letter, it is time to nurture the relationships you have grown within your workplace. Personally reach out to the people you work closely with. 

Many of them might take offense if they hear about your resignation from a third-party source. If you are sending emails, send a personalized email to each person. 

Whether you are informing via email or in person, talk about the things you liked about working with them and exchange personal contacts. You never know when you might need services, advice, or references from former colleagues.

A sample farewell email would be:

“Dear Marc,

I want you to know I am leaving [Company Name]. May 12th is my last day.

I enjoyed every bit of time we spent working together. Together we achieved a lot of what I thought was impossible. You helped me discover my skills and talents.

I want us to stay in touch. Here is my contact info.


3. Provide Feedback (Optional)

Providing feedback is optional, but it can help your employer and the HR personnel to understand why you are leaving. It can also help them improve the workplace terms for other employees.

In many cases, the HR department will schedule an exit interview. The goal is to learn about your experience with the company, your reason for resigning, and your thoughts on the company’s culture, policies, and compensation structures.

This is rarely an impromptu meeting, so you typically have a lot of time to prepare. If your boss/supervisor calls you for an impromptu session, remember only to provide constructive criticism. This isn’t a time to vent your frustrations and complain about other staff members.

Regardless of the setting, your feedback should be:

  • Honest: Remember you all work in the same company. There is no need to exaggerate facts or embellish your words. Be honest about your feelings.
  • Constructive: You should always be honest, but you don’t have to say everything in your mind. Talk about things that will make the workplace a better place.
  • Professional: If there are issues that need to be resolved before leaving, be professional about them. This is not the place to apportion blame. This can be the final chance for you to mend any broken bridges and leave the workplace on a positive note.

4. Schedule A Meeting (Exit Interview) With Your HR Representative/Supervisor

If you work directly under a supervisor, you should consider arranging a one-on-one meeting. You can also choose to meet with an HR representative. This is both a professional courtesy and a way to cement the working relationship.

Many employees often return to their previous employers on better terms. You can benefit from this if you leave on good terms.

This meeting can serve many functions:

  • It is an opportunity to thank them for the opportunities and support they provided you while working with them.
  • It is a great way to discuss how to wrap up or hand over uncompleted projects and tasks.
  • Explore ways in which you can help to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Note that this meeting is optional. If you have a troubled relationship with your boss or place of work, you can choose not to have this meeting.

Also, this meeting does not replace a signed declaration of resignation. You must submit your resignation letter to make your resignation official.

That said, a one-on-one meeting can reduce the friction when you quit your job.

5. Finalize The Transition Process

You have two weeks (or more depending on your employment contract) to finalize your departure from the time you submit your letter. It would be best if you used your final days to hand over projects that cannot be completed on time and discuss any unresolved compensation. Here are some things to do:

  • Learn about any benefits and salary you are entitled to on your departure.
    • Know when your next paycheck is arriving and if you should expect another.
    • Learn your company’s policy on cashing in your unused vacation, healthcare benefits, and sick pay.
    • Discuss your retirement plan if you are cashing in, keeping it rolling over, or migrating to another pension plan provider.
  • Document your work efforts, leave instructions on using the equipment within your purview, and how to access important files and other information. Make copies of files you might need. (Check first to make sure this doesn’t conflict with your employment agreement.)
  • If you leave to work for a competitor, you might be asked to return all equipment and files and vacate the premises the same day you submit your notice. This is a standard practice to ensure employees don’t share company data with competitors.

6. Ask For A Reference

Before you say final goodbyes, ask your boss and colleagues for references. Over time, it can get problematic to reach former employees and colleagues, especially when you move to a new location or a competitor company. 

A letter of recommendation is the most preferred option, but a LinkedIn recommendation can also serve the same purpose.

A reference from your previous employers will put the minds of prospective employers at rest. At the very least, it means you have what it takes to get along with people and build meaningful relationships.

If you want an excellent recommendation, you might want to put in some extra effort. You could:

  • Offer to train your replacement
  • Organize your working files and other information so others can locate them with ease
  • Be open to replying to emails and providing help even after your departure
  • Avoid bad-mouthing the company on social media

All of these will make your employer say: “We’ll be happy to take him/her back in a heartbeat!”

Of course, these only work if you have a good relationship. If you don’t, any last-minute efforts may backfire. Instead, ask for the letter of recommendation and accept what you get.

7. Return Any Company Property

You should return any company property in your possession. These include:

  • Computers
  • Phones
  • Carrying cases
  • ID cards
  • Keys
  • Documents

If you have items that don’t belong to you, you should at least offer to return them. This also includes things borrowed from colleagues you might never see again. Do not be accidentally dishonest. You should return company items and have them sent back to you as souvenirs rather than holding onto them and being held responsible.

Withholding company property can hurt your professional reputation and even make you liable for criminal charges.

Tips For Finding Your Next Dream Job

Career experts advise that you should have a job offer before quitting your job, especially when you are not going the self-employed route. So, you should be on the lookout for new job opportunities if you are considering leaving your current job. This is very important if you work in a toxic environment or are unhappy with your employment contract terms. 

However, the workplace is getting competitive by the day. Therefore you might need some help in your job hunting. We offer resources and guides to employees and employers, so we know all about getting the best jobs.

Are you ready to beat the competition? Here are some tips for finding your next dream job.

  1. Decide what a dream job means to you: Your dream job should communicate your strengths and skills, working experience, and preferences.
  2. Strengths: Make a list of your strengths and skills. If you have a hard time with this, talk with friends, family, and co-workers. You can also take a personality test to see where your strengths lie or speak with a career coach.
  3. Work Experience: Evaluate your working experience. Which job roles did you like? Which felt like a burden to you? This will help you decide the kinds of jobs you want to work in the future. You might also consider applying for jobs that align with your work experience.
  4. Preferences: Here, you should consider your interests, preferred work experience, and work schedule.
  5. Work On Your Resume: Your resume is your salesperson. It advertises your skills, personality, and experiences. If you are unsure of what an ideal resume should look like, hire a professional to build one for you. Alternatively, you can use online resume builders or resume templates.
  6. Sign Up On Job Listing And Networking Platforms: Many employers post job vacancies on these platforms. You can also use these platforms to network with recruiters, hiring professionals, and other job seekers. Some of these platforms also provide job alerts when a job vacancy opens in your preferred industry. Some of the best platforms are:
    1. Indeed
    2. LinkedIn
    3. Monster
  7. Take Advantage Of All Opportunities: If you are unemployed and serious about getting your dream job, you need to take it as your full-time job. This means you are constantly applying for job promotions. This will help you build discipline.
  8. Prepare Well For Interviews: Ideally, you want to research the company, your job description, and potential interview questions. This will help you build confidence. You also want to prepare all your documents, arrive early, and dress appropriately.

The Bottom Line

At some point in your professional career, you will leave your job. Employers typically expect this, but they react better when you do so gracefully. You can quit your job gracefully and professionally by preparing ahead of time, writing a resignation letter, and planning your final weeks before departure.

When done rightly, you will have a network of colleagues and former employers to rely on down the road.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to just quit your job?

Yes! You can quit your job if it involves working in a hostile environment, you want a new role, or you don’t like how you were treated. 

You can also quit if you don’t experience fulfillment over a long period or you have to take care of your health or a loved one. 

Sometimes, it may be because you tried negotiating for better terms, and the company isn’t responding to your needs or introducing policies that do not align with your values. 

If you are going to just quit your job, be prepared to: disappoint others, communicate your intentions, have a plan to fall back on, and polish your resume.

How do you quit your job when you hate it?

Quitting a job you hate might be an extreme measure. Before you pull the plug, you should consider the reasons behind your decision. If those reasons are fixable, you should attempt to fix them. Fixable reasons include work hours, co-worker conflict, promotion denial, and low pay.

However, if you work in a toxic environment, seek a different career path, or simply need to avoid seeing a particular co-worker, then quitting the job might be the best option.

To quit a job you hate, you need to clearly and formally declare your resignation, wrap up or hand over unfinished tasks. 

Before you stop working, you’ll also need to attend an exit interview, clean out your physical and digital space, and return company property.

You can also explore the possibility of continued benefits and ask your supervisor or boss for a letter of recommendation.

How do you quit your job when you feel like you’re being taken advantage of?

There are many signs to show your boss is taking advantage of you. These include consistently working overtime without extra compensation or running personal errands for your boss.

The workplace might be toxic if you are covering for other employees for a long time without compensation, regularly passed over during promotions, or your boss takes all the credit for the work you do.

If you notice any of these signs, speak with your boss or HR representative. If your concerns are ignored, it is time to quit your job.

Before submitting a letter of resignation, you should begin hunting for another job. Once you’re ready to go, schedule a meeting With your HR Representative/Supervisor, finalize the transition process, and provide feedback (optional).

You can ask for a reference/recommendation from your boss. You must also return any company property before you stop coming to work.

How do you quit a job without getting fired?

The best way to quit a job without being fired is to quit professionally. Make your intentions known formally. This involves submitting a signed letter of resignation. Ideally, you should give a two weeks notice.

Ensure that you negotiate a fair deal, including your severance pay, a good recommendation, and other benefits. You might get a favorable response if you offer to make the process as smooth as possible.