Episode 55: The Art of Quitting


February 9th, 2021

34 mins 35 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Quitting is an art- there’s a right way (leave with your head high and relationships strong) and a wrong way (think bull in a china shop or loud ranting with everyone breathing a sigh of relief when you’re gone) to quit your job. In this episode, Liz and Kat walk you through the delicate process of quitting, how to deal with a counter offer, and how to handle your final days at a job.

This episode was inspired by a friend of Kat’s who was quitting his job and was ready to give his almost-ex irrefutable.
Have your “quitting notice” written.
Set the goal of staying professiinonal and go out with respect.

To break it down:

You don’t want your boss to hear that you’re leaving through the rumor mill. Make sure to tell them first. It may be hard to keep the news from your work bestie, especially if everyone’s talking about leaving. The “I’m quitting, these are my last 2 weeks” conversation should be with you and your boss first.

Set up the meeting with your boss asap after signing your offer. Give your 2 week notice as soon as you can meet with your boss. Tell them you need to talk for a few minutes, and you can even tell them it’s urgent. If it can’t happen, you can go up the chain, but give every opportunity to quit to your direct manager. Try to do it in person, but if they force you to email it, you can do that, but don’t prolong the quitting moment.

We role play the conversation to make sure it stays professional and make sure to remove the emotion. Remember, you never know when you’re going to run into these people again in your career, so you want to make a professional lasting impression.

Counter offers: we’re anti 99% of the time. Why can you only get things on your way out vs when you ask as an active employee? Usually underlying issues won’t be fixed with a counter offer. Once you’ve given notice once, an employer can question your loyalty, and employees are shown to leave within 1-2 years anyway. Trust issues and resentment build up on both sides, and you can potentially burn bridges.
If you go looking for another offer to get a pay raise, DO NOT accept the other offer if you’re really looking for a counter.

See this article for more.

Fact vs emotional reason for quitting. For example, “the commute is 2 hours less/day”- fact vs “you’ve been a bad manager and blown off our meetings”- emotional. “Our processes are backwards” is subjective. Stick to facts that can’t be refuted since you’re trying not to ruffle feathers on your way out. Keep those bridges intact.

If your HR team does an exit interview, if you sense they are open, that is the place where you can share in a constructive way to help make change. Let them guide the interview and answer the questions you’re asked. While it’s confidential, remember that what you share can be shared with your almost-past boss etc, so make sure you’re fact based and constructive knowing it could be repeated.

Your resignation letter: short, factual, “my last day is”, and thank you. That’s it.

After you quit….the longest last 2 weeks ever. Work with your boss on the announcement and transition plan, but be clear that you want to let people know and hand off work asap. Keep reminding yourself to stay classy and not leave dead bodies on your way out. Talk with your boss about the “party line” whether the decision was theirs or yours.

Do a good job transitioning. Clean out your desk. Clear your computer. Make yourself available to the people taking over your work- tell them to call or email you with questions. Building that bridge brings comfort to the team members you’re leaving.

Another note- no poaching! It may breach a non-compete, but also goes along with the go out classy rule. Unless your company is going bankrupt, don’t reach out to poach people.

Follow our guidance, and reach out for coaching, but remember to walk out on your last day proud of how you ended things and ensuring that doors are open for future opportunities. Good luck!