How to Professionally Quit A Job You Hate

Sometimes it can be difficult to clarify whether or not you actually need to leave your job, or if you need to take action to improve your workplace. Admitting you want to quit can be hard when you’ve put time and effort into your job. If you’ve done all you can and are not feeling comfortable or not reaching the promotions you seek, it can be hard to not be frustrated with your job.

You are not alone, around 32% of Americans find themselves wanting to quit their current job! So, what do you do when you hate your current job and want to quit?

Read further for steps to professionally quit a job you hate:

1: Before You Jump ship

If you’re unhappy at work, flat out quitting may not be the best solution just yet. You could find yourself at yet another company feeling the exact same way if you haven’t gone over a simple checklist before departing. You should check in with yourself and answer a few questions first:

-Do the company’s mission and values align with yours?
-Are you a good culture fit?
-Are there misunderstandings with coworkers that can be resolved?
– Have you considered joining another department, asking for more responsibilities, or asking to take on different kinds of projects?
-Have you been honest with your manager during your employee review meetings?
-Is there something you need to succeed in your job that you haven’t asked your supervisor for?
-Can you find a way to work with a manager’s work style you can’t relate to?

It can be difficult to decipher whether or not it’s time to leave your job, or if there’s something you can do to improve your work environment. Reach out to your boss or supervisor for a conversation to see if improvements can be made.

2: When it’s time to move on.

Your second step and most important step is to realize when enough is enough and it’s time to move on. You’ve done all you can and you know that this job isn’t right for you. You don’t see a future with the company, or you know you won’t be happy with your manager in the long run. Your job affects your well-being, you shouldn’t spend your days disappointed or stressed out. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful in your job. If you know you are worth more than what you’re being compensated, if you’re missing drive and passion for your role, if you can’t seem to win with a negative manager or coworker, then it’s time to move on. After you have done all you can to improve your situation to no avail, it is time to quit. You want to do so in a professional and graceful manner even if you hate your job and can’t wait to get out of it.

3: Figure out where you will be happy.

This can be tough, especially since you don’t want to make the wrong decision or end up in the same position you just got out of. To figure out your ideal job consider what aspects of the job have made you unhappy? You need to make a list of pros and cons to figure out what you do and don’t in your next role. Instead of asking yourself, “what is my passion? consider who you are as a person. Write down what your values are, what you are good at, what skills you have, what your learning style is and how you like to work. Reflect on your answers to all of the questions above and use those to build your ideal. It is time to do a full reflection on yourself and your past jobs so you know what you should look for next.

4. The art of quitting gracefully.

After you have decided to quit, you’ll want to start planning. Try to stick out your job a couple more weeks if possible to prepare yourself for the job hunt by updating your resume and LinkedIn, and collecting recommendations. There are a few things you should do in order to quit respectfully and professionally:

A. Give at least 1-2 weeks’ notice if possible; never quit on the spot! Offer to help with the transition and stay neutral.

B. Tell your boss and or supervisors all in person AND prepare a letter of resignation: Keep it brief and to the point. DON’T list off your complaints. 

C. Make a point to say goodbye to coworkers and supervisors (even if you don’t like them!).

It may feel overwhelming resigning from your job or you may feel like celebrating your new found freedom! Either way, you are not alone. If you are not being treated properly, consistently unhappy and can’t see a promising future, it’s not the right job for you. At the end of the day, you want to resign on good terms. Try to keep it respectful and never burn any bridges. Employers definitely check work references and leaving professionally will give you the best opportunity to receive a positive recommendation. A final sincere conversation with your boss could make all the difference. In the long run, you will benefit by leaving a job you hate and leaving on good terms.