Most of us know deep down when it’s time to take a new career path. Regardless of whether you’re leaving a hostile work environment or a gig where everyone and *almost* everything is lovely, there are things you must do before you quit your job.
Responding to that urge to leave an employer to pursue greener professional pastures is a move that’s been popularized by millenials, also known as “the job-hopping generation.” But even for people who not only know right away when it’s time to quit a job, but prefer to act on that instinct quickly, they probably wouldn’t be successful at finding new gigs if they didn’t take certain critical steps before they resigned.
Whatever the case, it’s apparent that staying on at a job that steals a bit of your soul on the daily is becoming outdated. However, the importance of handling your business in the most responsible and professional way possible before you quit your job is not.
If you’re thinking, “Ugh, I should totally just quit my job RIGHT NOW,” make sure you’ve done some or all of these things before you yell, “See ya!” to your current place of employment.
1Plan your next move.
And by next move, we don’t mean quitting your job. That’s a given by now, but what you’ll do after the fact is not. For instance, do you already have new gig lined up? If not, have you already anticipated how you will cope if you don’t land something else before you ditch your current job? What are acceptable terms of employment for any potential opportunities that may come your way?
These are just a few of the questions you should address before parting ways with your current employer, so make sure you have a plan that answers most if not all of them.
2Stack some cash.
Take it from us: Being broke and jobless will most definitely feel like too much for one soul to bear.
Quitting your job is already mentally and emotionally challenging, so work on saving enough money to cover the necessities like rent and food in the event that the universe reroutes your plan to gleefully waltz out of the door of one job into another.
3 Wrap up any ongoing projects and delegate tasks you won’t be able to complete.
Anyone working a particularly crappy job has been faced with the moral dilemma of whether they should leave the company to fend for themselves with a pile of unfinished work or take the high road by finishing all their assignments and leaving with a tight-lipped, “It’s been real, thanks guys,” while their former workplace goes to hell in a hand basket in the background.
Just to CYA, suppress your inner petty (we all have it) and wrap up the stuff you’re working on so you can quit your job without having to look over your shoulder.
4 Maintain discretion.
Even if you’re quitting a job you hate, it’s to your benefit to stay as mum as possible about the entire situation, at least until you submit your notice. It allows you to make a decision and prepare for your exit without potentially distracting input from other co-workers.
And as shady as it sounds, some people have been fired after they gave notice, hence the importance of making your moves in silence.
5 Tell your boss first.
By way of resignation, preferably. Odds are, they’ll take it much better if they hear it from the source (that would be you) rather than a chatty colleague (see: discretion).
6 Update your resumé.
Ugh, the simple yet dreaded task we all neglect until we find ourselves staring wide-eyed and listless at a job application that requires us to upload our work history. Are you staring longingly at the office door in anticipation of leaving and never looking back? Polish your resumé so your job search will be less burdensome.
Listen, as tempting as it is to quit your job in the most heroic, IDGAF fashion ever, your future self with thank you if you take the responsible route, which will allow you to log your final hours with confidence simply because you know you’ve done all you can to prepare for whatever comes your way.