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Whether you’re fed up with your boss or you’re simply leaving to pursue another opportunity, quitting a job can be super stressful. Chances are, you’ve got some grievances you’d like to air, but it’s a small world, and you never know when you might run across these people again. You’re requited to be professional and polite — even when you’d rather push over the water cooler and tell your now-former manager what you really think of him or her.

In a terrific post for Business Insider, Emmie Martin compiles “6 Tips for Quitting Your Job Gracefully.” “When you’re in the professional world, everything you do from writing a memo to writing a resignation letter tells people what to think about you,” writes job coach Lea McLeod. Scroll down to see how she and other career experts recommend leaving a job with your good name intact.

1. Get Some Face Time — Companies typically require you to file resignation letters, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t meet with your boss first to break the news. Schedule a 15-minute meeting with your supervisor and give ’em the news in person.

2. Write a Simple Letter — When you pen that resignation letter, don’t add a bunch of detail about why you’re leaving and how various parties may have wronged you. Include your name, the date, and the position you’re leaving, and if you feel the need to add anything else, make it something about how you’ve “appreciated the opportunity.”

3. Avoid Negativity — This gets back to that burning-bridges thing. No matter how much you hate the company you’re leaving, you never want to leave on a negative note. At some point, you might need to call on some of your former coworkers for references, and they think you’re unprofessional and immature, they’ll be less inclined to help you.

4. Don’t Get Too Personal — In writing your formal letter, you may be tempted to call out some of the people you’ve enjoyed working with, but this isn’t the appropriate format for doing so. On your way out, send personal emails to the folks who’ve made your experience a pleasant (or more tolerable) one.

5. Figure Out the Timing — Most companies require two weeks notice, but that’s not automatic, so be sure to read that employee handbook before filing your letter. You might think you have two weeks, only to find yourself being escorted off the property a half-hour after making your plans known.

6. Schedule an Exit Interview — This is your best opportunity to tell the company why you’re leaving, as the HR department genuinely wants to know how to keep people on staff and avoid future¬†exit interviews. Still, you’ve got to show some restraint, and it’s best to offer constructive criticism.


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