What is the Best Way to Quit a Job?

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  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2019
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When one decides to quit a job, there can be several helpful tips. One naturally wants to quit on the best note possible. This way, if one requires references from an ex-employer, one is more likely to receive them. How one quits can influence how people feel about them at a later date.

Many employment experts advise giving notice to quit a job two to four weeks prior to planning to move to another position. There are a few circumstances that justify quitting a job without notice. If one’s reason for quitting is ongoing harassment or a fear of physical threat, then quitting without notice is acceptable. Where possible, make sure complaints about these issues have been documented, particularly if one will be job-hunting after quitting.

Documentation of harassment, especially if one has copies of complaints, can help smooth the way toward receiving unemployment. Usually, unemployment is only given to people voluntarily quitting if they can show a substantial reason for quitting. If one cannot show a good reason, then unemployment dues may be harder to claim.

Where no harassment or physical threat exists, planning to quit a job should come with sufficient notice. If one is quitting merely to make more money at another firm, notice can also give one’s current employer a chance to meet a competitive offer. Should one’s current employer meet or beat an offer from a potential employer, consider whether staying at one’s current job might not be more beneficial.


When one is hired at a new company, be sure to let the new company know that one must give notice prior to starting with them. This is usually the very last part of a final interview; so don’t mention it until after salary negotiations. Usually, a new employer will respect one’s need to quit with grace and consideration.

Notice to quit a job can be given in either written or oral format. For jobs with few employees, notice may be given orally. Arrange a sit-down with a boss a few weeks before planning to leave the company. Be certain to have prepared answers regarding reasons for leaving. Also note any benefits available, like unused vacation time. As a meeting with a boss comes to an end, discuss these benefits and entitlement to them.

When one works for a large company, written notice to quit is best. A note should be a fond farewell, stressing the delights of having worked for a company, whether it was delightful or not. Don’t dip too much into falsehood. Merely focus on the positive, but as well give several reasons why one plans to quit. A new job may offer you a chance at a higher level position, better pay, better hours, etc. These can be noted.

Take leave of other employees with whom one has been close. This gives one the opportunity to maintain friendships and still quit a job. It also allows for networking with past co-workers or bosses in the future. Get phone numbers of peers and keep in mind co-workers who are excellent at their work. Suppose one’s new company needs to hire people like oneself in the upcoming year. Alerting past co-workers to new job opportunities may be both helpful, and lucrative, as many companies offer finder’s fee bonuses.


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Post 3

Anon2913- I agree that one must not violate terms of a non-compete clause, but this often refers to clients that the company has and not its workforce.

For example, violating a non-compete clause would entail soliciting your former employer’s clients for your new company. However, offering employment to some of your past co-works usually does not violate a non-compete clause because a company can not bar them from working elsewhere.

Recruitment in this fashion happens all the time. Again the former employer is concerned with violations of its client base and trade secrets. It can’t do anything about its current workforce.

Post 1

Very helpful advice. A word of caution about enticing co-workers to come to your new job: you may be violating past and present contract agreements. Check your contract for covenants not to compete and make sure to avoid soliciting employees of your previous company in writing (especially via company email accounts).

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