It’s Not You It’s Me – How to Break Up With Your Employer

At some point, even the best working relationships come to an end. You’re either headed for bigger and better or you can’t take another episode of your boss’s drama.  Maybe you’re finally ready to take the leap into self-employment. Whatever the reason, it’s best to leave on good terms.  Here’s how.

Show Your Face
While you will want to write a letter, you also owe your employer a verbal resignation. In both you should state your intention to leave along with the effective date. It’s nice to give someone the heads up before handing over the letter, which can be impersonal.  In general you don’t need to go into a lot of detail about the why, unless that’s something you would like reflected in your record.  It’s a nice touch to include some kind words about your experience working for the company, only if it’s positive.

Exit Nicely
In this context nice translates to practicing a bit of restraint about your reasons for leaving.  If you have constructive feedback to share, go for it but try to avoid a major gripe session.  Make sure you give enough notice and if possible, offer to stay until your replacement has been hired and trained.  You never know when you’ll cross paths with these people again. Just because you’re ready to move on, there’s no need to be nasty.

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Do the Paperwork
Make sure you know what’s going to happen with your insurance and retirement accounts.  Don’t leave without filling out the proper paperwork and making arrangements for transfers or continuation of coverage.  Try to take advantage of any accrued benefits before you go.

Clean Out Your Desk
There are a lot of places where once you give notice, you’re out. You probably know if you work at such a place.  Be prepared to tie up loose ends quickly and to make the necessary arrangements for insurance and 401k issues.  Make sure you have another job lined up – or stock your pantry with ramen noodles.  Your choice.