The Right and Wrong Way to Quit Your Job

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More people are settling for less than desirable jobs during this recession to help pay the bills. So chances are that you or someone you know feels fed up at work and has visions of quitting in a blaze of glory.

You’d start your final day by kissing your co-worker crush, then curse out your bosses one by one, followed by a harsh psychological analysis of your co-workers’ shortcomings, and end the day by bashing your infuriatingly slow, Vista-installed PC with a large rock. You know, quitting in style. But leaving the proper way has its merits, too. It can help you maintain vital contacts and increase your future job prospects.

With that in mind, here’s our run-down of the right and wrong ways to make your exit. The choice is yours.

RIGHT: Give at least two-weeks notice. Many companies actually need more than that amount of time to fill your position. If you spring the news of your departure on your employers too suddenly, they’ll remember you as irresponsible. Plus, give enough notice and you’ll get your vacation payout, and sometimes you may even be able to secure an added severance.

WRONG: Leave in the middle of the day without warning. One man lamented he’d impulsively left a job he loved after having a small argument with his boss. His mistake finally hit him when he saw a posting to replace him in the newspaper. It made him realize he still wanted to work there.

RIGHT: Do it face to face; don’t let your employers find out by e-mail or by word of mouth.

WRONG: Follow QuitYourJobToday.com’s advice and organize a Lunch Escape. The plan is simple and disastrous: take all your coworkers to a Mexican restaurant, get them drunk and encourage everyone to join you in quitting your job that afternoon.


RIGHT: In your final days, indicate your continued interest in working with the company on future projects. And be sure to exchange contacts with your coworkers before leaving.

WRONG: Send an angry mass e-mail calling out your entire office. If you want to follow this route, just copy and paste this e-mail sent by a (former) JP Morgan (Stock Quote: JPM) employee before quitting. Highlight: “If I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself … Please don’t bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.”

RIGHT: Ask your boss to be a reference before you leave. Smart Money also notes that many bosses like to stay in touch with and give advice to employees who’ve quit or been laid off.

WRONG: Kill your boss. This past summer Chinese steelworkers ganged up and beat the company’s manager to death over salary discrepancies.

RIGHT: It’s Not You, It’s Me. Give a clear explanation that makes it apparent to your employers that you aren’t leaving because of anything the company did, but rather for personal reasons.

WRONG: It’s Not Me, You Suck! One aggravated investment banker got fed up with his superior’s impatience and shouted at his boss “take your attitude and shove it" before storming out of the office.


RIGHT: Leave your job uneventfully. If you’ve done everything else right up to this point, don’t jeopardize it now by making and bad final impressions.

WRONG: Torch your manager’s car on the way out. Seriously, it's been done.

RIGHT: Keep in touch down the line. You never know when you might need a reference.

WRONG: Coming back to work the day after you’ve left to make an awkward appearance. We don’t have any examples of this, but we’re sure it’s been done at least once. Not that we encourage it.

—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.

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