How to Leave Your Job on Good Terms

Many people think leaving a job has to be a terrible experience. How will the boss react? How will you be able to face him/her? Won’t cleaning out your desk be awkward? What about my coworkers? Will they feel like I’m abandoning them? What about our customers? How will they feel?


Fear not. This article will tell you exactly how to leave your job on good terms. It takes a little planning and a little smooth talking but you can exit your job quite gracefully if you follow these tips:

Time It Right

There’s a good time to quit and a bad time to quit. Don’t quit when business is crazy. That will leave your coworkers in a bind. It will make them resent you. There’s no faster way to ruin a working relationship that to bail on someone. It doesn’t matter if you and that coworker got along for years – if you leave them in a bind, they will remember. As they say, people remember their first impression and last impression best. Leave when business is slow.

Write a Formal Resignation Letter

The company will make you put it in writing so get this out of the way even before telling your boss you quit. After tell him/her, hand them this letter to make it official. Make sure to sign it. Make sure to state why you are leaving.

Clean up Any Lose Ends

Don’t leave a giant to-do list for your coworkers to look after. That will bum everyone out. Instead, finish all your projects ahead of time. This may take a month or two – so plan accordingly! Quitting a good job takes time.

Tell the Coworkers You Care about Most, First

After you tell your boss, tell your coworkers individually. Don’t let them hear it through the grape vine. They will resent that behavior. Sit them down and explain to them the situation. Try not to make it sound like you hate the job and are moving onto bigger and better things. Remember… you’re leaving these people behind in the trenches. Be kind to them.

Call Your Customers to Let Them Know You Are Leaving

Calling everyone you serve is beneficial for several reasons. First, it’s a professional courtesy. Second, you may work with them in the future. As they say, bridges are for building, not burning. When you tell the customer you’re changing employers, the customer may follow you in your career. That customer may just like you, not the company you currently work for. It’s like poaching customers without really doing it. It generally works out for everyone.

Begin Cleaning out Your Desk Asap

You have a lot of stuff in your desk whether you think you do or not. Begin cleaning out your desk about a month before the day you leave. Be subtle if you haven’t yet quit. Cleaning out your desk early is wise for many reasons:

  • It keeps you from playing stairmaster on your last day
  • It keeps people from noticing you’re cleaning out your desk and talking to you endlessly about how they wish they could quit
  • It keeps you from having to come to the office during your off-time just to clean out your desk (that’s no fun)
  • It keeps you from getting tired of cleaning and doing a rush job.
  • This ensures you won’t leave anything behind. That would be awkward.

Try Not to ‘Rally the Troops’ Too Much

Finally, try not to get involved with the hate speech that will inevitably ensue. Just be chill. Exit as your own person. Don’t need to ruffle feathers. Just aim for a smooth transition into your new job. Congratulations!