Breakup with Your Job the Right Way

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In light of recent news that there are more job openings than unemployed workers, is now the time to find a new job? The U.S. recently hit a record number of job openings in August, 7,136,000 to be precise, according to data released by the Labor Department.

It’s hard to know if it’s the right time to make the switch. Leaving a job is a bit like a rocky breakup. Maybe your current organization has a lot of positive qualities: it stuck by you during some difficult personal times, it financed you, it brought you to a few cool events, and/or it helped you grow. But, those qualities may not be enough to make you want to stay.

If you’re truly on the fence, check out’s 7 Arguments For and Against Leaving Your Job. But, ultimately, you will know if it’s time to move on. Do you dread going into work? Is the company on a downward tilt? Are you being paid unfairly – less than your equally-qualified peers? If some of these are ringing true for you, it may be time to move on.

It's Not You, It’s Me

If you’ve found your dream job and have decided to depart, read on to learn about the best ways to “breakup” with your company.

1) End Things with Empathy

If greener grasses are calling, it is imperative to try to end things on a good note. Try not to ‘break up’ with your company/manager via email. It’s not good form and it’s very disrespectful, especially if you have been with the company for over two months. It is much better to give your notice in person; it’s the right thing to do. Besides, on a more selfish level, the way you choose to leave may have an impact on your career down the road. A good recommendation can go a long way, and you don’t want your name to be blacklisted in your industry.

2) Write a Letter

Standard protocol dictates that you give a resignation letter to your employer so they can keep it in their records. There are many examples of these types of letters available online, but the gist of it is that you should provide four things: a statement of your termination, your end date, a (short) explanation/reason for leaving, and a mention of gratitude for the opportunity. Even if you weren’t thrilled to work there, they still gave you a job and were the source of your livelihood!

3) Determine Your End Date

Most employers require 2-3 weeks of notice before you leave the company. Keep this in mind when determining a start date at your new company. Most companies will understand that you need at least two weeks to transition your role. If financially possible, try to give yourself a bit of time in between jobs. It’s important to have a clear head when you start your new position.

4) Get Your Things in Order

Transfer your current 401k to the new company’s plan, determine your last day of insurance, and collect unused vacation and sick pay.

5) Erase the Past

When you give your notice, it’s important to know that you may be asked to leave immediately. Before you turn in your resignation, clean up your computer by deleting personal files (or any incriminating conversations). Be sure you have the contact information for everyone you need to keep in touch with after you depart.

6) Don’t Dwell in Negativity

Maybe you don’t love your company or your coworkers at the bitter end, but it’s still important to not let that show. If a coworker asks for your help learning a new task, be sure to help train them. You may be done with your position there, but try to empathize with your coworkers and help them out as best you can. Who knows? Maybe they can be a reference for you down the road.

 7) Try Not to Feel Guilty

You may feel slightly guilty leaving your coworkers in the lurch, handing off your day-to-day tasks, but don’t worry: your company will most likely fill your slot quickly, particularly if it has a good company culture. One way to help you ease your guilt is to help transfer your skills to coworkers who will be taking on your duties.

8) Check Your Mental Health

Leaving a job and starting a new one can be extremely stressful. This may be a good time to find a therapist who can help you work through the changes that are currently engulfing you.


Considering breaking up with your job? Switching jobs is a great way to take the next step up the salary ladder. Maximize your earning potential by learning how much you are worth.

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