How to quit your job in six easy steps

Many of us will be looking to make a fresh start in 2022 by focusing on improving our careers, whether that’s finding a suitable stepping stone or taking a leap of faith.

Some may have already started the ball rolling, but those who have yet to give their opinion should be careful not to make any missteps that could ruin their movement.

Telegraph Money has listed six tips to make sure your professional reputation is upheld and that you are leaving in the best possible way.

How to quit a job

Check your current contract

Before determining a start date with a potential employer, you should read your current contract to verify your notice period. This may vary depending on how long you have been with the company.

There is still time to re-evaluate your decision at this point, so it is important not to make a rushed decision and ask yourself a few questions about why you are considering moving:

  • What are your motivations for leaving?
  • What would you give up when you quit?
  • Can you afford to leave?

Wait until you have signed your new contract

Jumping the gun and handing over your notice before you get your new contract is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. It is essential to read and sign the contract before informing your current employer of your intention to leave.

There is a risk that you will not agree with the details of the contract or that your new employer will change their mind and withdraw the offer. Legally, the new employer is not required to hire you until both of you have signed a notice of hire. A verbal offer will not be enough to secure the position.

Once you have signed the contract and returned it, the offer is likely to be conditional on background and reference checks. Your new employer should request permission to contact your references once you have confirmed that you will take on the role. This means that you should be prepared to deliver your review soon after signing the contract.

Set up a meeting with your current boss

A formal resignation requires you to send a letter, or an online copy of it, to your HR department. However, it is more respectful to talk to your manager first. Do not tell any of your colleagues in advance.

You should schedule a meeting with your supervisor at a convenient time and give them a copy of the letter explaining the reasons for your decision. In the letter, you should make it clear that you are resigning, provide an effective date, proof of gratitude, and provide a brief reason.

If possible, you need to leave on good terms to maintain your professional reputation, which means being honest with your current employer.

Be prepared for a counter offer

Before you even break the news to your boss, you should think about how you would react if he tried to keep you.

There is a chance that your boss will make a counter offer, for more money or more responsibility if he appreciates your job and wants you to stay with the team.

Be prepared to work your notice period

The notice periods can vary considerably depending on your employer, your industry and the length of your position. You must be prepared to maintain a professional standard throughout your notice period, no matter how long.

If you go to a direct competitor, your employer may place you on gardening leave, in which case you will not have to work for the remainder of your notice.

It is courteous to offer to help train another employee if you overlap with the person in your position.

Check your vacation log

You may have to reimburse your employer if you’ve taken too many vacation days compared to the number of months you’ve worked that year so far. In most jobs in Britain, you accumulate vacation days every month, so if you quit in the middle of the year but have taken most of your annual vacation, you will likely owe your employer money.

Check your contract to see if it is in writing. If not, your employer may not have the legal right to deduct money from your last pay.

This guide is kept up to date with the latest tips.


What do you think is the best way to leave a job with respect? Let us know in the comments section below.

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