How to Quit Your Job

Here's What You Need to Know

You want to quit your job. It's just not working out and you think you want to move on. That's not an easy decision—it will have a huge impact on your life—so don't be too hasty. Give yourself some time to think it over. Make sure that it's the right choice and you've exhausted all your other options. If you decide to go ahead and quit, do things properly. The actions you take now can affect your career for a long time to come.  Here's a step-by-step approach to leaving your place of employment that takes you from deciding to quit to leaving your job peacefully.

Decide Whether to Quit Your Job

Man with head in hand
Have you had enough of your job?. Reza Estakhrian/Stone/Getty Images

If you quit your job your life will change in many ways, some for the better and some for the worse. Sure you won't have to deal with a difficult boss anymore or a job you don't like, but you will have a whole new set of challenges. Before you quit your job, make sure this is the right decision. There are several good reasons to quit your job. Find out if yours is one of them.​


Make the Best of Your Job If You Can't Quit

You may have decided you have a good reason to quit your job, but there may be a bigger one that is keeping you from doing it right now. Maybe it's that mortgage payment you have to send to the bank every month, your rent or other bills. If you are unable to live without your regular income, even temporarily, you may have to put off quitting your job until you have a new one lined up. Find out how to improve your situation until you can move forward with your plan.


Resign from Your Job

Once the time is right for you to move on, you will obviously have to inform your boss of your decision.  Don't resign until you know when your actual date of departure will be and don't tell anyone else about your plans until you tell your boss. You should write a formal resignation letter and speak to your boss in person if possible. Give sufficient notice. Two weeks is typical for most jobs but professional positions require more time, generally three to four weeks. If you are currently immersed in a large project, give your employer the opportunity to have you train whomever will take it over. More

Start Looking for a New Job

Job Application
Job Application. (c) Shannon Long /

You have some work to do as you begin your job search. You will have to revise your current resume or write a new one, look for job openings and prepare for job interviews. You should also let your network contacts know your job situation has changed, but exercise caution here. If you have decided not to quit your job until you find a new one, you shouldn't broadcast your plans yet.


Protect Your Health Insurance Coverage

When you quit your job your employer will stop paying for your group health insurance. There are two Federal laws that can help prevent loss of health insurance coverage: COBRA and HIPAA. COBRA lets you continue your coverage while HIPAA lets you get new insurance, either on your own, through your spouse's employer or through your new employer, without having to worry about issues such as pre-existing conditions and enrollment periods. You can be subject, however, to a waiting period imposed by a new employer.


Leave Your Job Peacefully

A woman leaves work after quitting her job
A woman leaves work after quitting her job. (c) Greg Blomberg / 123 RF

Your emotions may be running high and you may be tempted to get even with an employer who you feel has done you wrong. Ignore this temptation because any spiteful acts you commit, such as damaging equipment, telling your boss and coworkers what you really think them, or badmouthing them to other people, will only reflect poorly on you. You're better than that and you have too many things to have to deal with without having to restore a damaged reputation.


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