How to quit respectfully

How to Quit your Job without Burning Bridges

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about Quiet Quitting or people leaving with no notice because of the state of, well, everything these days. It can feel really chaotic and hopeless these days—we get it! Whatever reason you're leaving a job, you don’t want to sabotage yourself and burn bridges within your industry. People talk, after all, and quitting is best done gracefully and with dignity (even if deep inside you feel like Jerry Maguire-ing the whole thing). If you’re serious about leaving your current job, these are some steps we recommend taking:

1. Set your future self up for success

Don’t just quit—really think about what you’re about to do and how to ensure you’re ready. This step looks different for everyone, but at the bare minimum, make sure you have budgeted safety funds in case you find yourself unemployed. Reach out to people you trust and begin networking early—like a month before you’re planning to put in your two weeks. Ensure your portfolio and resume are up to date and begin applying when you feel ready. Clearly, if you aren’t happy with your job right now, these early steps will help to motivate you and remind you that better things are ahead.

2. Give at least 2 weeks’ notice

No matter how fed up or annoyed you are at whatever’s going wrong at your job, giving 2-weeks’ notice is the best thing you can do for yourself and the company. It’s the bare minimum, so if you can give even more (like a month’s notice if you’re a manager), this works even better. You’ll get paid for a full month while keeping in good graces with the company. People remember how others leave their companies and you’ll stick out in a favorable way, especially to HR and upper management. You never know where people end up and bowing out gracefully is key to keeping bridges intact.

3. Create a master list of must-have documents and links

This step is something you can do while you’re still employed and potentially before you even give notice. Depending on your level of experience, your master list might be quite lengthy and it’s always a good idea to do this with plenty of time to complete it. It might be as easy as giving people access to certain Google docs or spreadsheets but it could also mean packaging all design projects and putting them in shared locations so your hard work doesn't get wasted. This master list can take the form of a simple notes document, a binder of printed info, an excel spreadsheet, a bulleted email—whatever works best for you and your team. You are designing it for them, after all, so take their personalities into account. What’s going to be easiest for them to understand? Take it from there.

4. List out your role responsibilities 

This step can be done at any time, too. You might even want to start with this step to update your resume and LinkedIn (or just to keep your self-esteem up as you look for other jobs). But you’re doing this step for HR as well as anyone who manages you. They’ll be in charge of writing the job description (unless HR asks you to!) for the person who will replace you. You’ll be tallying up all the great work you’re capable of while serving up a checklist the company will need to find the right person to fill your shoes. It’s a win-win step that helps you both in the end.

Pro tip for this step: Don't forget to document your success metrics from your current position before you lose access to your organization's systems. This will give you tangible results to show your impact on the organization in your resume and portfolio. These should be specific metrics like "designed new email templates that resulted in 50% growth of CTA clicks" or "developed a multi-platform social media campaign that received a 125% increase in sales."

5. Hold a hand-off meeting with your coworkers

Some would say this is going beyond, but it’s the absolute best thing you can do for your team to succeed without you. Plus, it displays and enhances your leadership skills. Also, it’s just good karma. Schedule a hand-off meeting that includes your master list of documents and links. Run through how to use any special software or list calendar details that your team might need to keep track of. You can’t control how your quitting will be received, but having a proper hand-off will smooth over hurt feelings while empowering people to succeed in the future. 

After you’ve left your position, you may reach out on social media and stay in touch with people on LinkedIn. If you’ve left your job while being kind and empathetic to others, chances are your network will continue to grow and people will call on you in the future for opportunities. If you’re looking for opportunities right now, the recruiters at Artisan can help!

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