The time has come. You have finally decided to move on and find a new job. Whether you want to wait until you have landed it or not, there are ways to quit your job professionally and without burning any bridges.
If you have already secured a new position, make sure everything is finalized. Sign the contract or offer letter and confirm your start date and benefits package. This way you will not be putting your two-week’s notice in and still negotiate terms with your new employer.
Communicate with your boss. For some, this will look like open dialogue about transitioning out of the department. For others, it may simply be a resignation letter with the effective end date. However, you choose to announce your departure, tell your manager first. They deserve to be told before anyone else. To your co-workers, follow your manager’s lead. If they are okay with you announcing then move forward, but if not, let them take the initiative. You can even make an agreement on when your departure will be announced. Figure out your story and think through what you will say when you explain why you are leaving. Keep it positive and consistent. When writing your resignation letter, be brief but positive. Think of it as a thank you letter and include your last day of employment. Two weeks is the standard notice time but if your position is complex or high-level you may need to provide additional time for your employer and department to prepare. If you are not able to provide a longer notice, you are not obligated to stay longer than two weeks. If you have signed a contract, be sure to review what it says about the resignation.
Plan for your transition. If you have many responsibilities, create a list of unfinished projects with recommendations. Delegate tasks out if possible so that projects do not go unnoticed until your position has been filled.
It can be tempting to let your work standards relax or you may feel like speaking a little more freely once you know you are leaving, but try and stay professional until the end. You want to leave on a positive note and secure a good reference for the future.