What to Say When You Quit Your Job


Laura Simms


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You’re ready to quit. Congratulations! But what will you say when you quit your job?



Even if coordinating your pocket square to your backup singers is not your style, you’ll still want to practice what you want to say to your boss on Quittin’ Day.

The biggest fear most purpose-driven people have when it comes to quitting is coming off like a flake. Even if they’ve been mistreated, underpaid, and under appreciated, they still want to do things the right way and not leave anybody in the lurch.

The good news is you can quit your job with integrity. Quitting and flaking are not the same.

First things first: do you have a written agreement with your employer? Haul that out and read the fine print. Most contracts include details about what happens if you breach the contract. Others stipulate how much notice you have to give, with 2 weeks being pretty standard. If possible, follow the guidelines laid out in any written documents you’ve signed. You can always check in with HR if you have questions. If this is an emergency exit , be aware of any potential consequences from bailing early.


Even if this has been a long time coming and you KNOW it’s the right thing to do, you’ll probably get a nice adrenaline rush as you walk towards your boss’ office. Your heart rate will go up, you’ll be sweatin’ through that silk blouse, you might even get a case of the shaky hands. This is why you practice.


Here’s the breakdown of what you’re going to say:

1. Start with the weird

So, um, awkward. You don’t have to pretend that you don’t have feelings about this. If you’re afraid that your boss is going to think bad things about you, that’s a perfect icebreaker. It’s kind of a neat psychological trick that makes people more open and less defensive because you’re being a little vulnerable. Mwah ha ha.

2. Give a reason

Why are you leaving? This doesn’t have to be the whole truth if you’re not comfortable going there. Even a vague version of the truth will do.

3. Offer to help (optional)

If you want to (but if this place has been filled with jerk faces, feel free to skip it), you can offer to help find or train your replacement.

4. End with gratitude

Because it’s the classy thing to do, and you’ll feel better if you do it. You are leaving this place, but you can leave with your integrity intact and feel proud of how you handled your departure.

Laura Simms is an expert in meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose.

If you have too many passions, zero passions, or can't seem to combine your passions, try her purpose-first approach to find a career you love.  


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