When you know it is time to quit a job, know how to do it the right way. You will never regret a well planned action plan and some tips here would help you in making a smooth transition to your new job or career. Once you know how to plan your exit the right way, saying goodbye to work becomes easier and effective.


Inform your Boss

Your boss/supervisor must be the first one to know of your impending departure. He/she must not hear from someone else and be surprised about the news.

Request a meeting with your boss and discuss the scenarios of when would be the best time to quit. Usually the company policies require you to give a two week notice but because of project schedules and handover responsibilities it could be a mutual decision to extend the final date of quitting, try to be accommodating as must as possible. You are helping yourself build a better referral by doing so. A hasty decision and inflexibility might only damage your relations with the manager or team.

During this meeting it is a good idea to talk about a referral email or letter from your boss and also ask for his/her consent to be on the list of references in future.

This action item is essential and something that you always hear and read about- Don’t Burn your Bridges. That’s exactly what we want to do not to ensure that your “boss” bridge remain strong for you’ll need references soon enough or whenever you are applying for a another job.

Data Transfer from Office Computer – Don’t!

You might have done so even before announcing your quitting the job. But if not you must know that once you announce your quitting intentions any activity on the office computer could be monitored and might even be blocked because of some company policies.

Don’t be “keyboard-happy” in shooting off that Vindictive Email

Many disgruntled employees cite reasons for quitting because of their supervisor’s attitude or unhappy with the management. They have been known to impulsively send an email to all in the group (or even the whole company email list) listing why they hate their managers and what is wrong with the company.
Howsoever tempting it might be to send out a spiteful email full of accusations and negative emotions, it might only harm your future career prospects, if not immediately might be sometime in future. Do not send out any email in anger.

The farewell email to friends and co-workers should be more about informing them that you are leaving this job and company and how they can contact you hereafter. And of course, the good times you have shared with them – now’s the time to thank appropriately.

If you are really frustrated with everything around, then it is better not to send out the goodbye email than sending a resentful one.

Email Letter to your Co-workers and Friends in the Company

Do send an email to your friends and co-workers in the company informing of your departure from the current position.

  • Be polite and thank them for all the help they have offered during your tenure.
  • Don’t forget to add your personal email address and phone number in this email and if you have been diligent enough they would already be on your personal networking group (for example LinkedIn), if not it is not too late even now to invite them to your network.


Tips on a Goodbye Letter to your Boss

  • Appreciate: In the thanks and goodbye letter to your boss articulate well how you have appreciated and enjoyed working under him/her and the company. This is your opportunity to offer a testimonial to your manager – add information in this email on his/her guidance, leadership skills, mentoring has helped you in doing your job better.
  • Offer help: If you think that the company and/or your boss have been helpful and obliging to you over the years and you would want to go an extra mile to help with the new employee takeover/transition process, it is fair to offer them the option of being available for questions or training for your replacement.
    In the last few days at work try to do a great job documenting the handover notes and provide contact numbers for questions in case they might need to contact you once you leave the company.


See a sample farewell letter to a manager at the post: Sample Goodbye Emails to Manager and Colleagues


Packing up your Personal Belongings

Pack up only what belongs to you, return all IT and other company property to the staff. It might happen that your colleagues might want to take that extra port or the extra keyboard hanging around on your shelves, refrain from doing so.

All company property is accountable by the IT department or other general supplies division.

Ensure a proper handover and ask them if they have an online form that needs to be filled with the appropriate details filled in. (See the checklist below for more info)

Add some “Good” to your Goodbye

Though it depends under which circumstances you are leaving your job today, but always adding some bits of “good” to the goodbye would never hurt! Think cupcakes, chocolates, cookies or candies! Or be creative and think what other goodies will help contribute to a sweeter departure!

Send an email to your friends or colleagues whom you have worked with all these years – ask them to drop by at your desk around the time you expect you’d be done packing and all for a quick “cookie/cupcake/… goodbye send-off party”. It’s a sweet gesture and you’ll leave with a smile. But of course, this step is completely optional.

Some Tips for the Exit Interviews

Don’t agree to the exit interview date and time impulsively, also it is usually optional and not a compulsory procedure.

If you do want to provide some feedback on the company try to be as positive as possible and of course if you have some negative things to say about the manager be specific and do not blame the whole management. It could be because of one person or two that you have negative emotions, it is best to describe them tactfully but not put the blame on company management or culture.

Think and plan before you speak up, but if there were some situations where your supervisor had made you uncomfortable either physically or emotionally and if this was one of the major reasons for quitting, do let the HR know. It will do no one good to stay quiet just to be in good books when more harm could come to the future employees under that particular supervisor.

Some good tips on exit interviews are on the CollegeRecruiter website.
Some often cited tips on quitting the right way:

  • Don’t burn your bridges.
  • Leave on good terms.
  • Show a professional attitude. Whatever you do now will have reverberations in future – think before you act.


Checklist – Last Day at Work

This is a suggested checklist; consult your HR department or your manager to find out if the company has a written separation checklist that you must turn in before leaving.

  • If you have any keys (office, building, gym, cabinets etc.) return to the facilities. It is good to get these small tasks checked off and reported in your final email to your manager.
  • Turn in all software, books or equipment which is lying around. If something misplaces then you could be accountable or wrongly accused.
  • Inform the IT staff on the hardware left behind. It is recommended that someone from the IT staff checks and reports all equipment left behind in your cubicle or office.
  • Write and send farewell email to colleagues and manager.
  • Check again if all the work area is cleared of your personal belongings and leave your workspace organized.

 (Here is a checklist on what to do at the last week at work)


Question: What has been your experience at your last day at work? Any other tips?