How to Leave Your Job

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Over the past few years, many people have been forced to stay at jobs they hate or jobs that aren't challenging, and many have even decided to switch careers but have been waiting for the right time. A report from CNN Money predicts that 2013 is going to bring an even bigger boost to the job market. That means that for these people, the chances of finding the job they really want will be the best its been since 2007.


Once you find and land a new job, you still have to leave your current job. Even if you've built up a ton of resentment toward your boss or your co-workers, this isn't the time to burn your bridges. It's a small world, and thanks to the social media, it's getting even smaller. You'll never know when you might need the goodwill of your current employer, so make sure that you leave your job with a smile.


Here are five things you should do when leaving your job:


Give sufficient notice – No matter how fed up you are, don't just quit your job in a fit of rage. It might feel gratifying in your daydreams and in movies, but in real life it rarely ever works out that way. You'll be able to vent your anger, but you'll also end up alienating your boss and your co-workers. Not to mention that your unprofessional behavior will earn you a bad reference. Instead, always give notice. It allows your current employer to find someone else and make plans to handle your work when you're gone.


Make sure you weigh your options carefully – They say that the grass always looks greener on the other side, but when it comes to your job, that isn't always the case. It's important to really give thought to your decision to leave. If you aren't sure about the new job or don't have a job lined up, you may want to reconsider. Whatever you decide, it's important that you think it through and really weigh your options before making a change.


Always give a written notice – Even if you've told your boss that you are planning to leave, it's still considered professional to give a formal letter of resignation. You don't have to go overboard here, all you have to do is make an appointment with your boss and give them a letter that tells them exactly when you plan to leave. Keep in mind that you don't have to list all of the reasons for leaving and that this isn't the time to address all of your concerns. Simply write that you have decided to pursue other opportunities in your career and that you are submitting your resignation. Having it in writing will ensure that there won't be any confusion.


Ask for a reference – Getting a good reference from your boss and co-workers is too important to leave to chance. When discussing your departure with them, be sure to ask if they would be willing to give you a good reference. This is also a good time to get updated contact information from everyone as well.


Don't spread gossip – Once you've give notice, it's tempting to tell people exactly what you think of them or finally share some of the juicy gossip you've been reluctant to spread. Whatever you do – resist the urge to be negative. If you leave on a negative note, that will be what you'll be remembered for. Instead, leave with a smile and a kind word for your soon-to-be-ex co-workers.


Leaving your job can be scary, emotional and exciting. Just be sure to make your exit as professionally as possible, and you can be sure that in the future, your co-workers will have a kind word to say about you.


Have you recently changed jobs or are you planning to? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Image source: MorgueFile


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