Skip to main content

Buh-bye! How to Quit a Job with Class and Style

Did you see White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest give the Obama administration's last White House press briefing yesterday?

Earnest took a few minutes to talk about the job, and to thank his co-workers. Then his boss, President Obama, came forward to offer a few kind remarks, as well.

The whole thing got me thinking about how to leave a job with grace, class and style. For many of us, quitting classy can be easier said than done. After all, we're quitting for a good reason, right? Why should we care what our (soon-to-be-ex) co-workers think of us as we kick back and count down the minutes to greener pastures?

Because how we leave a job is just as important as how we start one, if not more so!

We've all had that bad day at work where we would love to be Joanna in Office Space quitting our job loudly with flair, but it's generally not a great idea to stomp our way out of the workplace and leave our co-workers holding our steaming plate of loose ends. For better or worse, our former co-workers (and managers) tend to remember being left in the lurch.


Luckily, quitting classy isn't very hard! Here are five basic tips for leaving a job in a way that creates a good last impression of you:

1. Don't slack off until the moment you leave. It's human nature to start slacking on the job as soon as we announce our exit, but don't let this happen! When you stop putting in any effort, your co-workers will remember you that way. You were a good co-worker, until you stopped trying right before you left. Don't be this employee. Think of your continued effort and interest in your current job as some smart, strategic HR/PR for yourself. You will be remembered as a hard worker, which is exactly how you want to be remembered.

via GIPHY


2. Offer your colleagues a kind word. Take the time to compliment your closest co-workers. Tell them something you've always admired about them. "I've always appreciated how you _____." The positive feedback we receive from our work peers tends to resonate the deepest, and your kind words will always be remembered because they were so unexpected. Just make sure it's a genuine compliment.

via GIPHY


3. Thank your boss for the opportunity. Before you leave, make sure to thank your boss for the opportunity, even if your boss is the reason you're leaving. We learn new skills and life lessons from every job. What skill did you ultimately learn at this job that has made you a better employee? If you can't think of anything, simply say "thanks" for the opportunity. You never know when your paths might cross again, so go out with good manners. It can be a small world out there.

via GIPHY


4. Leave your work area neat and clean. Leave your work area ready for the next person to move into it. Clean out drawers, quickly wipe down your desk. If you want to go the extra mile, you might leave a note that offers the lay of the land (e.g., the invoices are filed in the lower right cabinet, etc.). Basically, don't leave your desk looking like it's fallen into foreclosure.

via GIPHY


5. Don't talk too much about your new job. You're excited to move on IN THREE DAYS and you want to shout it to the hilltops! But not at work, where it might come off as careless bragging. If a co-worker says, "Only three more days for you, you must be so excited!" you can simply say, "Yeah, but there's a lot to do before I leave." Downplay it, then circle back to the work at hand. Keep your mind focused on your current workplace first. It's only for a few more days! Revisit Tip #1 as often as necessary until you're out the door for good.

via GIPHY


Bottom line: Never underestimate the power of a stellar last impression on the job! A last impression is key to coming off as an accomplished professional, but it's amazing how many employees can flub their job exit in myriad ways. But not you! Good job keeping it classy like a boss. Oh, and congratulations on your new job!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven Tips For Dealing With A Jealous Co-worker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…

How To Handle Farting At Work

Nancy Grace farted on national television. Or was it a tummy grumble? Either way, viewers heard it and now it's gone viral.



Which brings up an interesting question: How should you handle embarrassing bodily malfunctions at work?

We all fart, we all get stomach gurgles, we all burp and hiccup, and usually at the worst possible moments. Maybe you "sneezefarted," meaning you sneezed so hard you let one rip at the same time. So awkward and embarrassing. Whatever happens, it's how we handle these situations that counts. The first and trickiest step is whether or not to acknowledge the obvious. Rule of thumb: the more obvious the bodily malfunction, the more you should just own it. If you fart in a staff meeting and everyone heard it, point the finger at yourself (or have someone pull it) and have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Maybe you shouldn't have had those Cajun rice and beans. Yes, feel free to reference lines from the Russian Unicorn if you must. Throw i…