How to Quit: 5 Tips from a Headhunter

February 12th, 2015

Catherine Lund Toronto Marketing Recruiter
By Catherine Lund, Toronto Marketing Recruiter

There are lots of reasons to quit your job: you’re no longer challenged, you don’t fit in with the culture, the commute is too long, a better opportunity has come up… the list goes on.  Regardless of the reason (yes, even if you hate your boss and your job) quitting professionally is the right thing to do and will benefit you in the long run.  Here are 5 tips from a headhunter on how to quit your job the right way.

1.  Make Sure You’re Running Towards a Great Opportunity.

…and not away from a bad one.  The grass may seem greener at another company, but make sure you really want to quit.  We all have bad days at work, days that make us want to throw up our hands and quit, but emotional decisions are usually bad ones.  In fact, research by ExitCheck revealed that 72% of past employees would return to the company they left if the opportunity arose.  So before you hand in your notice, make sure you are running towards a great new role instead of running away from a bad day at the office.

how to quit 5 tips from a headhunter

2.   Be Strategic.

Know what quitting will mean in terms of your company’s policies and your employment contract.  Do you have any vacation pay coming to you?  Will you miss out on a bonus if you leave now versus 3 months from now?  Also, make sure to give your full 2 or 3 weeks’ notice, both written and verbally.  Keep it short and unemotional… this is not the time to air any grievances.  You need not say much more than that you are leaving, but have appreciated and learned from your time at the company.

3.  Beware the Counteroffer.

Do not accept a counteroffer.  You might be tempted to stay for more money but remember: there is a reason you have given notice.  Also, most people who accept a counteroffer are the first to be let go during layoffs. 

4.  Wrap up Existing Projects.

Leave your existing projects in good shape.  You might be excited to start your new job but don’t leave a mess behind for your coworkers to clean up.  Who knows, you might cross paths with them again someday!

5.  Exit Gracefully.

Spend your notice period gracefully.  Resist badmouthing the company to your colleagues, even if that’s how you feel.  Try approaching conversations with your coworkers as you did with your manager; you’ve enjoyed working with them, but it’s time for you to move on.  Remember to give back company property, and keep in contact with colleagues that you worked well with – they may be references in the future.

It can be tempting to quit in a blaze of glory, especially if you’re leaving on bad terms.  But airing your grievances on the way out or leaving your co-workers in the lurch will only hurt you in the long run.  Instead, use these 5 tips from a headhunter to quit professionally.

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For more from our Toronto headhunters, check out our Headhunter Insights blog category.  Also, learn about Marketing Recruiter, Catherine Lund, and connect with her on LinkedIn.

IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm with offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have teams of specialist recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations, Energy, Mining & Engineering, Life Sciences, and Construction, Property & Real Estate. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Catherine Lund

Catherine Lund helps lead IQ PARTNERS as Sr. Director, Client Services and specializes in recruiting for integrated, digital, and eCommerce roles. She is an avid networker and proven business development and marketing professional who has placed mid to senior level professionals across Toronto.