It's the day you've been waiting for — the day you quit the job you hate. You may be tempted to put into play that quitting fantasy you've been perfecting, but don't. Stephen Viscusi, the author of On the Job: How to Make It in the Real World of Work, says how you resign will invariably influence your career in the future. Don't get mad. Don't get even. Just get out with your hard-earned professionalism still intact. Here's how:
Think long-term: Don't burn bridges. While trashing your boss or coworkers may feel gratifying at the moment, once you speak the incriminating words, you can never take them back — people will always remember them. Not only do you need your former employer as a reference, but it is very possible you will run into someone connected with your old job in the future. One caveat: If you have a formal exit interview, you can share appropriate grievances with HR. "Make sure the interview is truly formal in nature," Viscusi says.
Think rationally: Leaving a job can be an emotional experience for you and your boss. When you tell your supervisor you're quitting, you are essentially stating that you are firing him as your boss. He may feel shocked, angry or defensive. He may have to answer to a superior about why you decided to leave. Don't get into an emotional interchange with your boss. Although tensions may rise, remain professional. By quitting, you've already gotten your revenge. Your boss will have to fill your position, train the new hire and wait for him or her to overcome any learning curve before being truly productive.
Think ahead: Keep your resignation letter short and to the point and provide the effective date of your resignation. Don't send it by email. Hand in the letter to your boss while you state you are resigning. Be aware that once you give your resignation, it's possible you may be immediately asked to clean out your desk before you're escorted out. Be sure you have already collected the things you really need the week before you resign, such as email addresses, contact information, information about your projects, etc. Once you've left the premises, consider all of this information inaccessible.
Think positive: If your job was truly a horrifying experience, it can be hard to let it go. But bringing your old baggage to a new job is a surefire way to start building an unflattering reputation. Your new boss and coworkers don't want to hear complaints about your old job. Griping makes you look bad, not your employer. Besides, you have reason to celebrate. You have a new job.
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