How to Quit Your Job in 2019

By Jeff Gillis

There comes a time in every employees life when you have to take a good long look at what you’re doing and decide if it’s something you really really want to keep doing, or if it’s time to throw in the towel and figure out how to quit your job and move on.

Maybe you’re stuck in a dead end job with no chance for advancement and you realize your skills and talents would be better utilized at a different company.

Maybe you’re doing a job that, while it was the right fit at one time, is no longer the job you want to be doing and it’s time to switch things up.

Maybe you’ve got a personal situation that requires you to relocate and you can’t do the job you’re currently doing remotely.

Then again, maybe you’re just trapped in a job that is so absolutely bone chillingly awful that it’s a struggle just to make it through each day without literally ripping your own hair out or ending up on an episode of “COPS.”

Sounds like no matter what, it’s time to go see your hiring manager and tell them those two sweet little words that are so intrinsically linked to personal freedom:


Quitting your job can be both terrifying and exhilarating.

You’re essentially putting yourself in charge of your own destiny when you leave a secure position and venture into the unknown…

That’s right, this blog post is all about how to quit your job…the right way…and trust us when we say there is definitely a right way to quit and a wrong way…a very very very wrong way…

Going out in a profanity ladened, drama-wrapped blaze of proverbial glory might make for amazing bragging rights and certainly might get you a drink (or two) at the bar, but before you go into your HR office swinging, take a step back, take a deep breath, and let’s do this together the right way, starting with when to quit your job.

Knowing When to Quit Your Job

First off, simply hating your job might not be the best reason to just up one day and quit.

Yes, it’s tempting to tell your boss exactly where to go and how to get there after a particularly rough day…but it’s always a good idea to make sure you are fully prepared to face any and all consequences that might arise from a hasty decision like that before you storm into your boss’ office and raise holy hell.

It’s also tough to get a good recommendation letter for future work from someone you’ve just told to go stick their head where the sun don’t shine!

Now before you think we’re masochistic jerks who are saying stick with your horrible job and horrible boss because we like to see you suffer…hang on…and let us finish what we’re saying.

We’re not saying DON’T quit your job…we’re saying don’t just up and quit one day…have an exit strategy in place that makes leaving easier on you…and safer on your future ability to get work.

To make things easier on you, we’ve compiled an easy step-by-step guide for how to quit gracefully:

How To Quit Your Job In 5 Easy Steps


how-to-quit-your-job-image-111. Am I doing this for the right reasons?

Everyone has a bad day (or two, or more) but allowing your emotions to ramp you into a decision you might later regret isn’t going to do anything but frustrate you and potentially hinder your future job searches.

If you’re thinking of quitting, take a good hard look at why.

Is it due to a series of events that have no foreseeable solution such as company policy you conflict with or coworker issues that just don’t seem to be resolvable via HR?

Is it due to financial limitations and you know you would be making more elsewhere?

Are there alternatives to quitting that will enable you to find more satisfaction in your work without leaving the company?

Can you reach out to your manager or HR and explore options that would allow you to stay where you are and be happier/make more money/do more rewarding work/leave behind that horrible coworker/boss/manager you hate?

There are a billion reasons why someone would quit, but what you need to do is make sure the reasons you’re quitting are reasonable and right for you.

If you’re quitting over an issue that can be easily fixed, future employers might want to know why you decided to exit rather than work out a solution. Make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons, not just the easy reasons.

2. Am I okay quitting right now?

Are you financially able to quit right now?

While quitting might make your soul and mind feel better if you’re in a difficult situation, your bank account might argue sticking it out until you get something better lined up is a smarter course of action.

Can you afford to quit right now?dollar-42338_6401

If you quit, is your decision one that is going to just affect you or do you have an entire family relying on you as the breadwinner? Don’t forget to keep other things in mind like health insurance. Once you leave your job, those benefits usually stop.

Ask yourself these questions to really drill down and make sure you’re in a position where walking away won’t be a problem. Quitting only to turn around and have to crawl back and beg for your old job isn’t a scenario anyone wants to live through.


Okay, so you’ve made up your mind…it’s time to go.

In order to make this transition as easy and professional of possible, there are a series of tasks you should undertake before you turn in your notice.

Yes, it might mean sticking around a little longer at a job you’re ready to leave forever, but trust us, these tasks will make your transition into whatever else you plan on doing next much easier.

If you’ve sat down and really reflected on your situation and answered our two critical questions and still see quitting as the only answer, then it’s time to move onto the next phase…getting all your ducks in a row before you go.

Get ready…

While some employers might be okay with you quitting and allow you the time you need to wrap things up, some consider quitting to be an insult and might even insist you leave immediately…so make sure you’re ready before you go in.

This means making sure you’re tying up any loose ends that might hinder your exit.

Do you use a company computer? Make sure you clean off all your personal files and back up anything you think you might need including contacts and important information (Don’t forget emails either!)

Start streamlining your personal space/office/desk. Take home personal touches and make sure that you’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Do you have samples of your work or a portfolio that you’d like to show to potential future employers? Make sure you get whatever you need before you turn in your notice.

Speaking of copies and contacts and backing up files, make sure that whatever you’re doing is legal and ethical. The last thing you want to do is to get busted for corporate espionage or intellectual property theft.

Be smart…


While sending your boss a “See ya” email, or worse, a text, might seem like a good idea, resist the temptation to do things the easy way and instead do them the right way. Ideally you should write a formal letter of resignation and deliver it in person, but at the very least make sure you get in a personal phone call and then send in your letter.

Okay, just so we’re clear…no matter how you quit, you need to make sure a formal letter of resignation is included in that plan.see-ya-chumps(2)


A formal letter of resignation is more than just a courtesy, it’s also a legal document and should be treated as such. Most jobs have employees sign formal contracts when they’re hired and your letter of resignation is a document clearly outlining that you are leaving and when you are leaving.

It’s also one more opportunity to leave on a good note, so make sure your letter is well thought out and well written.

Need inspiration? We’ve actually got an entire article dedicated to making sure your resignation letter is perfect! Click HERE to read.

Once you’ve got your letter of resignation ready, make sure you’re delivering it to the right people in the right order. Speak with your direct supervisors first before moving your way along the chain of command before finally ending with HR.

While it might seem easier to go the other way around, having someone you’ve worked with closely for months (or even years) hear through the grape vine that you’re quitting can often result in feelings of betrayal and frustration.


Industry standard is to give your employer at least two-weeks notice before your last day for most jobs, but in some instances and industries, you might be asked to stick around for one reason or another.

If your job takes extensive training, your employer might ask you to stay to help ease the transition with whoever is replacing you.

Sticking around to finish out a project you’re working on might also be expected.

No matter what the reason, make sure when you quit that you’re prepared to potentially stay longer, or at the very least have a plan in place in case you are asked.

Not only will it do wonders for bridge building with your soon to be former boss, but word might get to future employers that even under difficult circumstances, you are a team player.

In the event you already have another job lined up and they expect you to be there at a certain date, make sure you communicate that to your now former boss.

Offer to work with them in a way that is beneficial to both parties.

You might not be able to be there physically but being reachable via phone and or email (within reason) might help soften the blow of you leaving.

Make sure, however, that all this is done within reason and that there is a firm stop date. The last thing you want to do is end up being a free consultant long after you’ve left your job.

Speaking of that long goodbye, make sure you’re continuing to do the work you were doing before you turned in your notice.

Now isn’t the time to slack off or cut corners. Instead of taking these two weeks (or longer) as an opportunity to fluff off, keep your head down and push through with the same level of professionalism you were delivering before.

Not only will the transition be easier, but leaving your former employers with good memories of you will make any future references easier to secure and more positive.


As we said earlier, some companies can see an employee quitting as a personal insult which can result in an uncomfortable conversation (or two). Your employer might want to grill you about why you’re quitting via exit interview questions