10 Things To Do Before Quitting Your Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

August 12, 2021

Deciding to leave your role demands careful reflection to ensure you're taking the right step in your career. When submitting your resignation, though, it's also important that you prepare for your departure so that you can leave with a positive impression and develop a plan for your upcoming job search. If you're thinking about quitting your job or have submitted your resignation, there are a few key actions you can take to ensure you're well-prepared for this career shift. In this article, we outline the benefits of preparing before quitting your job and list 10 tips for doing so.

Related: Should You Quit a Job Before Finding a New One?

What are the benefits of preparing before quitting your job?

Since quitting your job can be a challenging task that requires thorough consideration, it can be highly beneficial to prepare for your resignation prior to submitting it formally. Here are a few of the benefits you may gain by undergoing thoughtful preparation before leaving your role:

  • Self-assurance: When resigning from your role, it's important that you're assured that the decision is best for you on both a personal and professional level. By carefully considering quitting your job, you can gain a better understanding of your motives for doing so and develop a level of certainty that may help you navigate the resignation process more confidently.

  • In-tact professional relationships: When you leave your role, you also leave behind the important professional relationships you've built with your colleagues and supervisors through regular contact. Preparing for your departure can allow you to maintain respect and end your employment on good terms so that you can leave with in-tact relationships.

  • Plans for the future: One of the most challenging aspects of quitting your job is developing a career plan for the future. When preparing, you can assess what your professional needs are, what you aspire to do, how you plan on supporting yourself and how you want to approach the job search process post-resignation.

  • Smooth transition: When you leave your role, you may feel a certain level of responsibility to offer your colleagues and supervisor a streamlined transition that avoids any negative impact regarding workload or productivity. In preparing for your departure, you can help source your replacement, offer resources and ensure they're ready to assume your responsibilities.

Related: How To Tender Your Resignation (With Example Letters)

What to do before quitting your job

When quitting your job, there are a few essential actions you can take to prepare for your departure. These actions may help you assess your decision, form a plan for your future career endeavors, maintain your professional relationships and make organizational shifts as easy as possible:

Evaluate whether this is the right path for you

If you haven't yet submitted your resignation to your employer, it's important to first carefully evaluate whether quitting is right for you. You may want to determine whether you've fully exhausted internal options for a career shift, such as switching roles, seeking higher compensation or asking for a new schedule. These solutions often require far less effort than quitting and may allow you to still find the renewed satisfaction you're seeking from leaving your role. After evaluating your options, if you believe quitting is the right thing for you at this time, this process may help you find increased self-assurance.

Related: How To Know When It's Time To Quit Your Job (With Tips)

Understand your professional needs

When quitting your job, it can be helpful to assess your professional needs and what you're hoping to accomplish by leaving your role. Perhaps you're seeking more free time, a job in a different industry or a shift in location due to particular needs. By trying to identify what needs are motivating your decision to quit, you can better understand what you want out of your career and what your aspirations are. From here, you may be able to more easily forge a plan for your future job search.

Form a plan of action for post-resignation

It may be worthwhile for you to consider what your plans are after you quit your job. It's important for you to understand your professional needs, identify what career path you'd like to pursue, figure out how you'll support yourself financially in the interim and develop an idea of what your job search will look like. To do this, assess your preferences for a new role and whether you'd like to take some time off in between roles, including how you might be able to afford to do so.

Document your accomplishments

While you're still serving in your role, it can be useful to document your duties and accomplishments in real time so that you have an accurate representation of your experience. It can sometimes be challenging to recall all of your accomplishments after you've left your role, so taking care to do this while you're actively employed can avoid future uncertainty. From here, you'll have a comprehensive list of achievements to include on your resume when applying for new jobs.

Ask for recommendations or endorsements

In some industries, you may need professional recommendations or endorsements of your skills when applying for new roles. Therefore, before quitting your job, ask your colleagues or supervisors for recommendations. They may be more likely to provide you with an endorsement while you're actively working alongside them than after they've learned about your resignation.

Follow protocol for resignation

Workplace protocol for resignation may vary between organizations. Therefore, it's important to review the protocol for quitting outlined in your employee handbook or contract. You may need to provide notice within a certain timeframe or submit a formal letter that expresses your intention to leave your role. Whatever the protocol states, make sure you follow it to comply with regulations and show your respect for your colleagues and supervisor throughout the resignation process.

Related: How To Tell Your Boss You're Quitting

Offer to ease the transition process

Once your supervisor and colleagues are aware of your intention to leave your role, offer to ease the transition process by sourcing your replacement, creating guides or compiling resources. These actions can help ensure that your replacement understands the extent of their new role and what strategies you used to achieve success. In addition, it can help avoid your colleagues having to take on extra responsibility that may impact their workflow or productivity.

Save your work samples and any nonproprietary files

Many organizations block your access to email accounts and servers upon your resignation to secure their IT platforms. Therefore, before you leave your job, try to save any work samples, personal information or nonproprietary files from your time there. Saving these items can ensure you don't lose access to any of your work and help you once you start your job search. This is especially important for professionals who need to build portfolios of their work to showcase their skills and abilities.

Express gratitude and offer to stay connected

As you prepare to quit your job, try to be purposeful in expressing gratitude to your colleagues or supervisor, especially if they helped you grow or be productive in your role. This is a kind and professional step to take in the resignation process and can help preserve your relationships beyond your tenure at an organization. Further, if you want to stay in touch with your coworkers, consider sending them an email with your personal contact information so they know how to connect with you once you leave.

Related: What To Do When You Quit Your Job: 15 Steps

Meet with human resources to assess your exit

Some organizations require employees to undergo specific resignation processes, such as exit interviews or organizational assessments. Therefore, make sure you meet with a representative from human resources (HR) to ensure that you're complying with all policies as you prepare for your departure. In addition, when meeting with an HR representative, you can ask for more information on any benefits you may have access to as an ex-employee, including severance pay, limited health coverage or compensation for unused paid time off.

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