How to Quit a Job and Transition Smoothly

Quitting a job is often more challenging than we think. It can be uncomfortable and awkward to tell anyone you work with that you’re resigning, regardless of the reason. However, it’s important to plan and to speak with your manager before you move on to your next role. 

Is there anything else you should remember to ensure a smooth exit? Knowing what’s behind you is the best way to do it, and we have the answers you need.

What Is the Importance of a Smooth Transition?

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The projects you’re working on won’t stop just because you’re leaving your job. Ensuring your exit doesn’t cause a disruption isn’t just respectful and considerate—it’s good for your career

There is a good chance that you will work with your colleagues again if you’re staying in the same field. You can enhance your career by keeping these relationships, or at the least, leaving on a positive note. Because of this, it can be helpful to plan so your departure is as happy as possible. 

1. Determine If the Timing Is Right

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Take your time with the process! Making the right decision about if or when you should quit your current job is crucial. Consider the pros and cons of leaving a job, especially if you’ve just learned about a new position or started your job search. 

For example, if you’ve taken on too much responsibility and need to get paid more, consider speaking with your manager about increasing your income; this may help alleviate the issue. Maybe you don’t need to leave the job at all. 

Once you start actively seeking your career change and receive official approval from your new opportunity, it’s time to signal your intent to resign and start the termination process. Having polite and healthy conversations with your employer and coworkers is also essential. Leaving on good terms may lead to future opportunities, especially if you act professionally, so it’s important not to burn bridges.

2. Notify at Least Two Weeks in Advance – Yuri A // Shutterstock.

The standard rule is to give two weeks’ notice, giving your employer time before you leave. Please note, however, that you must adhere to any notice requirements specific to your workplace if you have signed an employment contract. 

If your new job doesn’t begin for several weeks or you’re transitioning to self-employment, you should let your employer know if you are willing to extend your stay beyond the usual two-week period. Your resignation letter should include this information regardless of how much notice you provide before you leave your job.

3. Send a Resignation Letter

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As a third step, you should give notice in writing. Write a resignation letter explaining your reason for leaving as well as your anticipated last day of work. Decide who you will notify about your resignation, such as your human resources manager or direct manager. Be clear about what caused your resignation, and don’t forget to express gratitude for the opportunity before signing and submitting. 

4. Explain Your Reasons for Leaving

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Talking with your human resources manager before leaving the job can be an excellent start. Some companies have a human resources department with which you can schedule an exit interview. 

Don’t be afraid of it! They will mostly ask about your experience, what made you leave, if and why you were unhappy, and a company or business they need feedback on. Be prepared to gracefully provide constructive feedback at this meeting—the objective is to maintain positive relationships with previous employers while exhibiting honesty and professionalism on what inspired you to resign.

5. Meet with an HR Representative or Supervisor

Woman talking to manager
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Consider setting up a one-on-one meeting with your boss instead of emailing your resignation; however, this is not mandatory. If your supervisor is supportive, you can work together on wrapping up final projects before leaving. You may want to talk to someone in the HR department first if you are concerned about your supervisor’s reaction or need a positive relationship with them. 

Be sure your resignation letter makes it to the right people, no matter how you inform your colleagues otherwise. As part of the exit process, most companies require a formal resignation document. Having it completed ahead of time and making sure it’s on file can make the journey to your new company flow more smoothly.

6. Conclude and Transition Your Work

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You likely have two weeks left in your role after notifying your employer of your resignation. If you cannot complete your standing projects during your notice period, work with your supervisor to find someone who can tie up any loose ends. 

Ensure you document your daily efforts, where you’ve saved essential files, what equipment you use, and other necessary information. It ensures a smooth transition for whoever replaces you after you leave.

If you’re leaving your current employer for a competitor, they may require you to return your company-issued equipment. Employees are prohibited from sharing data with competitors as a standard practice. Your employer may allow you to keep your equipment and continue working until your chosen final day if you leave for a company that is not a direct competitor.

7. Express Gratitude for the Opportunity

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Some jobs are more than just a way to earn money. After working for an organization for a while, you may have developed strong bonds with your coworkers and leaders, gained new skills, advanced to a high-level position, sought greater responsibilities, and improved as an employee. It’s important to show gratitude for what you learned at your current job before it’s time to move on.

If you worked closely with your bosses, coworkers, or leaders, tell them thank you. You can grow your network by following this proper etiquette. In the future, you may be able to help former colleagues, and they may be able to help you.

8. Ensure a Successful Finish

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Avoid the temptation of “checking out early” on your last day. Keep the details about the perks and compensation of your new job private. Ensure you leave your employer on a high note by doing your best to leave a lasting impression.

Make This a Smooth Transition

Grateful diverse team expressing recognition, appreciation, acknowledge to leader, clapping hands, touching shoulder, congratulating boss on achieve, good work result, applauding promoted coworker
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Please take the opportunity to thank your colleagues for their support and for the opportunity to have worked there. For instance, you could send a farewell email with a personal message thanking them for everything and saying how much you enjoyed working with the team. This small gesture can significantly strengthen the relationships you’ve built with your colleagues. Good luck!

This article was originally produced and syndicated by Financially Well Off.

Author: Luana Cantuarias

Title: Contributing Writer

Expertise: Blockchain, B2B, and SaaS


Luana Cantuarias is a seasoned finance writer with over a decade of experience in the realms of Blockchain, B2B, and SaaS.