How to Quit Your Job Without Souring Relationships With People

3 minutes

Knowing that you want to quit your job is easy, but conveying it to the current employer may make you think twice. How do I say it? Who should know about it first? How soon should I break the news? All these questions finally lead you to “I don’t want to sour relationships with the people here.”

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Daniel Gulati, the coauthor of Passion and Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders, has pointed out that  “People are more accustomed to the comings and goings of colleagues than in the past.”

He says, It’s all part and parcel of company life.”  So you’re not the first to be quitting a job. There would be several like you who would have already quit. To continue a healthy relationship you need to have answers to the other questions in your mind.

Who should know first?

The person who you directly report, say your manager, should be the first to know about you quitting the job. This shows that you trust him/her the most.

According to Len Schlesinger, a professor at Harvard Business School and coauthor of Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future: “The bookends — how you start and how you end — are the most important parts of any professional relationship.

Your start might have been well but it’s good to maintain it even while you end.

How do I say it?

How are you most comfortable to communicate? You could either mail or speak in person according to your convenience. The only thing important is that don’t leave your manager confused. “I have decided to leave” sounds more confident and certain than “I am thinking of leaving.” You can maintain the trust by being transparent about what you intend to do next.

You don’t want to break his/her heart after he/she has tried to hold you back. Neither would you want to be gossiped about your mysterious leave.

How soon should I break the news?

The best time to speak to your manager is as soon as you decide to quit. Once you know what you want, you have no reason to keep it to yourself. Give the manager enough time to digest this news. If you have the time you can support until they find a replacement so that you maintain a smooth transition. If that is not possible you can be responsible enough to leave nothing unfinished.

You need to be smart as well as responsible even after your decision to quit. This way your manager would have no reason to think otherwise. You have no reason to hide anything. If you do, you can always convey that too. Retain the trust you’ve built during the time of your job. Express gratitude because who doesn’t like it!

Are there other queries you have about quitting a job? Ask our Counsellors and get expert advice on issues related to career.

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