Quitting your job can be a difficult prospect: on one hand, you've likely lined up something better (or at least have good reasons to quit your job), and on the other hand, telling your employer is bound to be unpleasant. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step to moving forward.

What to Do Before and After Quitting
The first step to quitting is checking what obligations you have with regards to your job. You likely signed some sort of contract upon joining the company. Pull it out and read it over: it may contain some expectations for how you should inform your employer that you're moving on. In particular, look for any requirements on the length of the notice that you need to give. You want to make sure that you meet all of your contractual obligations as you wind down at your old job.
You'll also want to think about the ideal way the transition can take place, even if you aren't sure that you'll be able to implement a transition plan. If, for instance, you know that your employer will need to replace you, you can help find your replacement and get him or her up to speed before you leave. Consider what you need to do in order to finish any projects that you're currently working on, and write out a plan that you can present along with your resignation. This will showcase your leadership skills, and can provide a good foundation for getting positive references after you leave.

When it comes down to actually resigning, notify your employer of your plans to do so as far in advance as you feel comfortable. Employers, of course, prefer as much notice as possible. However, you may not be prepared to announce that you're looking for a new job early in the interviewing process. It's usually best to set aside time for actually sitting down and telling your manager of your plans to leave, where you can also discuss how the transition will proceed. If your change of jobs is particularly unexpected, you may need to plan for several discussions about completing projects and winding down your work.

As part of the resignation process, you'll need to submit your resignation in writing - for many companies, a resignation letter is the trigger for the human resources department to start the exit process. That process can stretch out over the entirety of your notice period, depending on the company you've been working for. During that period, however, make sure that you're continuing to work to the standards you've met throughout your employment. Slacking off because the end is in sight won't win you any friends at the company, and may also burn some bridges for future references and other help.

The Exit Process
The exit process is a necessary evil. While it can seem like a waste of time to complete forms for a company you won't be working at a week from now, doing so will prove that you are a professional. An exit interview can even be an opportunity: you can tell your employer the details of why you're choosing to move on. Such feedback should be polite. You should also ignore any temptation that you may have in openly pointing out what would make your employer a better workplace, even as you're leaving, because that fuss could easily follow you to a new job.

The Bottom Line
Announcing your new position outside of your past employer should be equally subdued and done only after your manager and team have been informed. Social media posts too early in the process can definitely cause problems. And with how quickly employment circumstances can change, it can be a good idea to keep things quiet until you've actually settled in at your new job and you know for sure that it's a good fit. After all, you may end up finding some reasons to tough out your old job.

Related Articles
  1. Budgeting

    Lost Your Job? 6 Things to Do Immediately

    If you’ve lost your job, shoring up your finances as best you can will make it easier to get back on your feet again when that next position rolls around.
  2. Professionals

    Broker Or Trader: Which Career Is Right For You?

    Both brokers and traders buy and sell securities, but there are some subtle differences between the two careers.
  3. Personal Finance

    Don't Sign That Non-Compete Without Reading This

    Non-compete contracts aren't just for high-level execs these days. How to protect yourself if your employer – or prospective employer – insists you sign one.
  4. Professionals

    Financial Career Options For Professionals

    A career in finance can take a business professional down many different paths.
  5. FA

    The Basics of The Series 79 Exam

    Passing the Series 79 exam is usually necessary for anyone who wants to work in investment banking.
  6. Professionals

    10 Steps To A Career In Hedge Funds

    The first step to getting your hedge fund career started is to be sure you really want to work for a hedge fund. If you do, it’ll show in your actions.
  7. Professionals

    Business Analyst: Job Description & Average Salary

    Learn the different types of business analyst careers available; understand the skills and education needed and the salary you can expect to make.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    How To Make Money With Domain Names

    Domain names are hot commodities in today’s tech-centric world, and for good reason.
  9. Professionals

    How To Get A Job On Wall Street

    Although Wall Street has its share of problems, finding people who want to become traders isn’t one of them.
  10. Economics

    What is the American Dream in 2016?

    The American Dream is still alive and well, but it looks very different than it used to.
  1. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the benefits of hiring a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) to be my financial ...

    A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) has successfully passed rigorous coursework in the fields of economics, financial analysis, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I get started with a career in asset management?

    The asset management industry has a variety of different career paths. Depending on what asset management area you would ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. For which kind of jobs is having Magnum Cum Laude most important?

    Having a magna cum laude degree is most important for jobs in the fields of finance, management consulting and engineering. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Other than accounting, what does a corporate finance job involve?

    While a corporate finance job almost always involves accounting in some capacity, there are many additional job duties and ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  2. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  3. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  5. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
Trading Center