09 Dec 2017 20:00 IST

What is the right way to quit a job?

Prioritise professionalism over a few moments of satisfaction

I overheard a conversation between two young people recently about quitting a job. One person, let us refer to him as A, seemed to have recently quit his job and was narrating his experience to the second person, who will be referred to as B in this anecdote.

A seemed to have had a very bad experience in his job and this seemed to be largely because of his boss. He has been desperately trying for an alternative job and after finally getting one, he had quit the previous day. B was listening sympathetically to A’s rants about the job and visibly perked up when A started talking about how he quit his job.

A supposedly walked into his manager’s cabin and announced grandly that he was quitting, that too immediately. He then went on to give the manager a piece of his mind and ended up venting his frustration at him. A then went to the HR person, repeated the performance and then blamed the HR for being ineffective and allowing someone like A’s manager to be in the organisation. Finally, after having spent all his anger and frustration, A left the office.

A sounded very pleased with himself and what he had done, which was also influenced by B’s enthusiastic support.

Big mistake

I was aghast and had I gotten the opportunity, I would have told A that he had made a monumental blunder. The way he handed in his resignation was a blunder because of the following reasons:

~ First, and foremost, he will need a letter certifying his employment and also a letter of recommendation. It would be very easy for the manager and/or the HR to give A a poor recommendation, which would affect him in his next job, at the very least.

~ In today’s context of people changing jobs frequently, it could very well be possible A would cross paths with his former manager and the HR person in the future. Imagine the scene when A meets either of them at a new organisation. Would he be able to have a cordial relationship with either of these people?

~ In spite of being supportive, B and A’s colleagues are bound to view such behaviour as being very unprofessional; maybe even immature.

Learn to be professional

The ideal way to quit a job is:

~ Be dignified, regardless of how you have been treated.

~ Spend adequate time handing over all the details of the projects you were involved in. More importantly, put it on record and have a copy of any such handover for your personal reference.

~ Be ready to stay back and help train the person taking over your position — be it a new person or a colleague.

If not anything else, your professional image would be very good. In the long term, that is worth more than the few minutes of satisfaction you get after venting your emotions.

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