Bullish Q&A: How to Quit Your Job With Class


Hi Jen! The recent article on quitting made me think: How do you practice good citizenship when you leave an actually good employer (as in, people who invested in you and you enjoyed working with,and are only leaving because of something substantially better)? Some ways I’ve thought: tell them in advance,train/mentor for a while the person who’ll replace you, and, for software engineering specifically, make sure your code is readable, reusable and well-documented. Any others suggestions? Thanks!

These are all great suggestions.

(And here is the original article: The True Secret to Success? Quit.)

In the US, two weeks’ notice is standard. More might be nice, although plenty of bosses have been known to say, “You’re quitting in six weeks?! FINE, GO HOME NOW, YOU’RE DONE HERE!”

I’ve heard this happening much more with shift work and lower-paid jobs, less so in office environments. My point is, once you give notice, do be prepared in case your current position ends faster than you intended.

Try to maintain your personal relationships! Spend your last few weeks getting lunches and drinks with as many people as possible. Ask them about their dogs or kids or vacations – without being inappropriate or too personal, try to transition the relationship from a coworker one to a networking-type relationship (or an actual friendship!)

If you have a coworker in a band, or a coworker who’s an artist and shows in galleries, make a point of finding out their next event and actually going to it. Keep up those relationships! You want it to seem (and be!) genuine, so say something like, “I’ve always wanted to go to one of your shows – it’s so crazy we’ve been working together so long and I haven’t made it yet! Let me put the next one in my calendar,” or “It’ll suck not seeing you everyday! I want to make a point of keeping in touch. Do you still go to the monthly XYZ mixers? Want to grab a drink before the next one?”

Leave LinkedIn recommendations for everyone! Some people will return the favor.

For those higher-up, send lovely letters of thanks, or find time to thank your bosses in person for being such great mentors. A boss/employee relationship ends when your job does, but a mentoring relationship can last a long time.

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