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At one point or another in life, you will likely have to quit a job. This reality becomes especially relevant if long-term travel is one of your life goals. You may find the idea of quitting very anxiety inducing (I know I almost always have felt anxious). Whether you like your job or not, quitting can be a daunting challenge. Maybe you have never quit anything before. Or, maybe your employer is not the kindest human (Which sadly happens sometimes but hang in there, adventure is around the corner). Or, on the flip side, you might love your job and find yourself feeling bittersweet about quitting (That is super normal too!). You might have great coworkers or a great work environment but you also have always wanted to take an extended trip. Travel is always an amazing opportunity no matter where you go.
In any case, there are ways to make quitting a bit more successful. Below are some pointers to make quitting as breezy as possible.
How to Quit Your Job
- Quit in person. Yes, this idea could be one of the sources of anxiety. But, this is much more professional and can open doors to a conversation about your new journey. Or, if you like your position, this can open up a conversation about the possibility of re-employment. You might say something like, “While I have loved my time here, I have always wanted to do ____. I am planning on travelling for the next year, but is there any way that I could return afterwards?” You never know, some agencies offer sabbaticals or leave of absences.
- Alternatively, you may know that you not have any interest in returning. If that is the case, this could be a good time to ask your employer to serve as a reference. You could phrase this as, “I do not know what I will be doing when I return but, would it be possible to use you as a reference for future opportunities?” I would advise that you only do this if you are in good standing with the employer.
- Determine if you need to write a resignation letter. For some positions this may be expected, for others, it may not be.
- Give a minimum of two weeks notice. This means, choosing an exact end date for your employment and writing it in your resignation letter. Depending on your relationship with your employment, giving more time can be beneficial. Always, always, always leave your jobs on good terms (Even if it was dreadful). Most future employment opportunities will ask for a reference or who knows, maybe you will end up asking for your job back at that same agency. Quit on good terms in any case.
- If you are unhappy, do not focus on the negatives. Always try leaving on a positive note. And always be professional!
- Use up your benefits! If you have dental or other coverage, then use the benefits (Cross some items off that “To Do Before You Go” list).
- Make sure that you are prepared to leave and have all of your finances in place. If your boss falls into the “not the kindest human” category, being fully financially prepared can help safe guard against a bad reaction.
- Clear out any personal information or documents. Once your last day has passed, you likely will not be back for some time. Also, pack up any personal belongings (I know that I always liked to keep a favourite coffee mug in my desk).
- Finish as many projects as you can. Try to avoid leaving unfinished work. This is both professional and leaving a positive taste in your former employers mouth may help with a positive reference. It is also more fair for the coworkers who might have to pick up the slack.
Congratulations, you have taken a huge step towards freedom. Do you have any tips for quitting a job position? Any questions about how to quit a job that have not been covered here? Leave your responses in the comment section below.