When someone asks, “What do you do?” how do almost all of us respond?
I’m an accountant.
I’m a teacher.
I’m a salesman.
Jobs are a large part of how we define who we are. They make up the chapters of our lives, alongside major life events like marriage, the birth of children, the passing of friends and loved ones.
For better or worse, the jobs we do during our brief time on this planet make large contributions to the legacy we leave behind.
And at some point, they all have one thing in common—we stop doing them.
Often, that is by choice. And when you choose to quit your job to move on to greener pastures, you face difficult questions…
How do I quit my job with grace?
What is the right way to quit?
Is a two weeks’ notice all there is to it?
Does how I act at work even matter now?
The Real Reason Why It’s So Hard to Answer These Questions
Let’s be honest…
It is VERY difficult to honor your current J-O-B if you have a better opportunity around the corner.
Admitting that doesn’t make you a bad person. It just makes you human.
Fortunately, the way you feel does not control the way you act. You do.
And in this situation, there is a right way and a wrong way to act.
Acting the right way when quitting your job means:
1. Being sensitive to your current coworkers’ and employer’s perspective.
To do this, simply exercise a sense of gratitude toward your current job. Because when you think about it, you could be unemployed—without money to put food on the table for your family.
Yes, even if you hate your current job, even if you haven’t been treated fairly, things could certainly be a lot worse. The life you live is most likely the way it is because of the income and opportunity your current job has given you.
Choosing a grateful perspective will allow you to continue doing your best work during the remaining time you have.
2. Setting a great example.
By thinking from a place of gratitude, and showing others that you think this way through your actions, you will set an incredible example. If you continue to do the best work you can possibly do while you are still at the job you’ll soon be leaving, people will notice. And that can pay dividends down the line.
When you leave for your new opportunity (whatever it may be) you want coworkers and management to cry and throw you a huge party because you were the best employee they ever had. You don’t want them to throw a party that celebrates the fact that you’re leaving. You know what I mean?
3. Leaving the door open on your way out.
Anything can happen at any time. At one point in my life, I found myself living under a pier after a series of poor decisions.
With that in mind, it pays to remember that life’s curveballs can come quickly. You never know when you may need to knock on old doors—so why not leave them open?
If you did things the right way, chances are, they would gladly have you back. If not, they will probably close (if not slam) the door in your face, forcing you to look elsewhere for a way to support your family.
The Hidden Benefits of Honoring Your Current Job
Honoring your job as you prepare to leave is about more than protecting yourself in case you ever need to return. After all, your legacy isn’t just about your past—it’s also about your future.
Consider this: your employer likely knows other leaders in your industry. What might happen to your potential relationship with those leaders (who likely communicate with each other) if you leave your job the wrong way?
You never want anyone to think poorly of you—especially when it isn’t necessary! People are simply too important. They are the one thing every single business has in common, and what they think (and say) about you matters.
If you don’t know how to quit a job the right way, you can leave behind a legacy that you don’t intend or want to have.
So ask yourself: What kind of legacy do I want to have?
Or how about this question? Done in verse, it’s a simple twist on the Golden Rule:
What kind of world
Would this world be,
If everyone in it
Were just like me?
Keep that in mind, and quitting your job with grace will become much easier.