Changing Jobs

Changing jobs can be challenging. First you need to leave your former job on good terms so you can use them as a future reference. Then you need to adjust quickly to your new job so that you become productive quickly. The checklist to the left will ease these transitions.

There’s a right way—and a wrong way—to say “good-bye” to your employer.

Turning in your resignation isn't easy. Even if you hate your job, your boss, or both—and can't wait to start your new job—do your best to resign tactfully. You never know when you’ll need a reference.

If you have an employment contract that defines the notice you should give, follow it. If you have no contract, offer at least two weeks notice—or more if your employer will have difficulty replacing you in two weeks. This assumes, of course, that your new employer is willing to wait longer for you to start.

What to Say

Be brief, pleasant, and to the point. Tell your supervisor that it’s time for you to move on. Mention what your last day will be and offer to help in the transition. Then thank the person for the positive things you experienced at the company and the opportunities to learn. Resist going into attack mode. Do not complain about the company, colleagues, or, especially, your supervisor. There’s no point in doing so now that you’re leaving.

Write a Resignation Letter

You may resign verbally, but you should also provide a resignation letter. This will reflect well on your professionalism and increase the likelihood of getting a positive reference.

Ask for a Reference

Before you leave, ask your employer to provide a letter of recommendation. It’s better to ask for it now than years in the future, when your supervisor may have moved on to another company.

Return Company Property

Return any company property as soon as possible. You don’t want your employer to have to chase you down later. Nor do you want to be responsible for it in the event it gets damaged or lost during the transition.


Give Your NoticeKnow Your Termination BenefitsGear Up For Your New JobSurvive Your First Few DaysEnroll in Your Employee BenefitsUpdate Your Plans For the Future
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