I don’t know about you, but I’ve been preparing to quit my job since the day I started. That sounds bad, doesn’t it?
In reality, it’s a good idea for someone like me who just has awful memory. It’s not that I really am planning to quit my job already, but I know it will happen eventually.
So when this does happen and I’m looking for a new job, I already have all the job details and accomplishments prepared to apply for new positions. But before you quit, stop to think of why you feel the need to and if you really should.
Things to consider before quitting your job:
- Do you need to leave or just take a break?
- Are you taking the time to enjoy your weekends?
- Will this solve the problem you’re facing? Or is there another solution?
- Is it possible to cut back on hours instead?
- Are you financially prepared to quit?
- What is your plan for the future?
When you’ve decided that resigning is what you want to do, try these 9 ways of preparing to quit your job:
1. Make a list of all technology used
This was one of the main problems that I had when applying for new jobs. I wracked my brain to remember all of the different programs and equipment I utilized in my previous employment to show that I was qualified.
Making a note of the different technologies used as you’re trained on them will solve that little problem.
2. Make a list of all job details
Aside from my resume, I have a running list of information from all of my jobs over the years. They include:
- Job title
- Company name and address
- Starting salary
- Manager name and position
You never know what an application will ask for and it’s nice to have it all easily accessible.
3. Go over your employee handbook for PTO
What happens to the PTO and sick time that you accrued? Some companies will pay out for it while others have a “use it or lose it policy”. Find out if it will be paid out, or if you need to schedule some days off before you go.
4. Rollover retirement fund
If you’ve been contributing to a retirement fund (which you should), don’t forget to take it when you go as well! You may have the options to:
1. Keep the money in your former employer’s plan
2. Move the money to your new employer’s plan
3. Take the money and do a rollover to an individual retirement account or a variety of other options.
4. Or cash out (but this can come with penalties)
5. Start sending out job applications
Finding another job before you quit will allow you to avoid any financial stress. You can start applying for jobs before you quit and request that they do not contact your current employer without your permission. Once you get hired, you can then request a start date for 2 weeks in the future and put in your resignation letter.
6. Or make sure you have 3-6 months in savings
While it is great to have another job lined up before quitting your current employment, it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes you just don’t want to work anymore and don’t have the patience to stay at a workplace where you’re just mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.
If you’re going to quit before getting another job, it’s good to have 3 to 6 months or more of bills saved up. This is based on how hard it is to find another position in your field, but it’s best to save more just in case. It can also be smart to start a side hustle to gain a little income.
After my last job, I only expected to be out of work for a few months. I started applying to work after the holidays at the end of the year and nearly gained a position in March, but that was the year 2020 when everything went wrong. I ended up actually being out of work for about 10 months.
Thankfully, my family lives off of one income and I also had this website as a side hustle.
7. Make any Medical or Dental Appointments
If you’ll be without insurance for a while or will be downgrading plans, be sure to get your checkups out of the way first. Medical and dental visits get pricey fast, so take advantage of the insurance you have before you go.
8. Clear off company equipment
Before you put in your letter of resignation, clear your personal information from any company laptops or cellphones you have. You may be requested to turn them in early and you won’t have time to do it.
While you’re at it, start taking home anything you have at your desk as well. At least one item a day that isn’t too noticeable and will make your last day easier.
Also, if you are planning to leave due to conflicts in the workplace, make sure to forward any emails you may need as evidence to your personal email. In the future, you can BCC your email in case you are suddenly fired and locked out from the company email.
9. Turn in your resignation letter and transition smoothly
Finally, set up a meeting with your manager and turn in your letter of resignation. It’s proper to resign in person then follow it up with a formal letter in an email that also CC’s HR.
As you transition out, be sure to tie up any loose ends. Don’t leave the workload in shambles for the next person to take over. It’s courteous to finish what can be done, or organize the work and leave notes.
Example Resignation Letter:
I am writing to inform you that I am resigning from my position as _____ at _____. My last day will be in two weeks, on (Day of the week), (Month) (Day) (Year).
It has been a pleasure to work at ____ for the past ____ years. I have learned so much thanks to you and the rest of the team. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and support throughout my time here.
If there is anything I can do to help in this period of transition, please let me know. My personal email is _______@_____. Thank you again, and I wish you and everyone at _______ all the best.