What Not To Do When Leaving Your Job

What Not To Do When Leaving Your JobI know that everyone has different reasons for leaving their job, and sometimes it is a really toxic environment that you are trying to leave.

However, if you are trying not to burn any bridges, then you might want to read my post How To Leave Your Job on Good Terms.

And, of course there are always cases where no matter what you do, your work will be upset.

That will most likely be my case, as none of this will most likely help. However, I still need to show my work respect, since they are great people to work with. I wouldn’t be happy if they did something evil to me, so I don’t plan on doing it to them.

When I worked in retail as a manager, I witness many wrong/weird ways to leave your job. We didn’t have super high turnover, but those who were new to the job most likely left soon after because jobs in customer service are definitely not the most fun, and they are not high paying at all.

Below are some not so good ways to quit your job:

Simply not show up for work.

Yes, the easiest way to quit your job would be to simply not show up. You can avoid any confrontations and no one will be mad directly at you. You can’t get yelled at because you won’t even be there. However, is this the smartest way to leave your job?

If you don’t want to burn any bridges, this is DEFINITELY not the correct way to leave your job. You are not only hurting yourself, but you aren’t giving your work any notice and they may even get worried about you if you are not answering their phone calls or emails.

Leaving your job this way can hurt you badly if you ever need recommendations. Also, I wouldn’t count on this employer as being a reference for any future jobs.

Leave a letter stating why you hate your boss and why you hate your job, and then not show up.

Yes, I have actually personally witnessed this. Someone that I worked with left a detailed note about why she hated my boss and didn’t give notice or anything, and she was an employee for over 5 years. That was not a pleasant day to work… It was also awkward because she was/is a friend of mine.

Leaving on a negative note like this can really hurt you. It can be hard to find another job as well. You should try your best to leave your job on a positive note.

Throw everything everywhere, and then create a scene and a mess.

Yup, I’ve seen this one too. One time an employee got angry and threw stuff everywhere. She then slammed every box, basket, bucket, file, etc. she could find. Not pleasant and you make all of your former co-workers hate you because they have to clean your mess up. Believe me, none of us will EVER forget your face 🙂

Tell everyone you are about to quit besides your boss.

You might think that you need to tell everyone that you work with that you are quitting, but it is usually your best bet to tell your boss first. You don’t want gossip to be spread around, and your boss will most likely lose faith and respect in you if they find out last.

Leave without any notice.

If you have an important job, it is most likely wise to give your work notice. You don’t want to tell them that you start your new job the very next day and that today is your very last day. You want to give your work to prepare for your departure.

Have you ever witnessed someone leave a job in a ridiculous way?

What other ways would you consider wrong?



What Not To Do When Leaving Your Job — 41 Comments

  1. I think that the right thing to do is to give your employer proper notice no matter what the case. You may have a shitty employer but that doesn’t mean you should react the same way. Just do the right thing and exit the right way. At least you can hold your head up high knowing that you are a great person. Some people get right nasty when they quit a job. It doesn’t make someone a better person.

  2. Love this, Michelle. My old manager in the mortgage industry taught us all very early on that, especially in the finance industry, people move around SO much, and you never know who you might run into at another company, so never, ever burn bridges. I always try and think about that, in all of my actions. You never know when you might need someone’s help, or when they might have an opportunity to give an opinion about you, so behave yourself, for your future’s sake.

    • Yup! You never know when you will work with someone again. Chances are that you will know of someone at least a little bit.

  3. Wow! I’ve actually never seen someone quit and make a big scene but I’ve heard lots of horror stories. The bottom line is that burning bridges is usually a really bad idea since it is such a small world.

  4. I’ve witnessed some pretty ridiculous ways in which people have quit over the years (in various different types of work). I suppose it makes them feel justified and better about themselves, but in the long run it more likely sabotages them. Things have a way of coming full circle in life. It’s always best to act like a professional.

  5. I can’t stress the importance of giving proper notice more! I referred a friend to a job and she worked a few months and then quit without notice. Not only was it unprofessional, it made me look bad for getting her the job. She’s since matured and gives notice now, but it really made me second guess referring friends for any openings at my jobs now.

  6. I put in three weeks notice when I left my job and it KILLED ME because all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there. But, I’m glad that I did things the right way. Now there are no hard feelings and I left a positive impression.

    • Three weeks is good! I’m still not sure what I will do. I will leave it up to them as long as it’s reasonable I think.

  7. Notice is often highly industry dependent. In my last job, people got walked when they left more often than not. I put in extra hours in the weeks leading up to quitting so that projects would be transitioned well and made sure people who were taking over where I left off could call for questions. I wasn’t walked, but staying more than an hour or two after quitting would have been very odd in that industry. Too much confidential info people don’t want you leaving with.

  8. We had someone do the note thing and emailed it to EVERYONE in the entire organization by just doing a reply all on a mass email distribution list. It was pretty hilarious.

    Personally I like to give a nice two weeks notice and then take my remaining vacation days during that time. Everywhere I have worked has let me do this, since they would have had to pay them out to me anyways and this saved them money.

  9. I would just say anything you do to throw the boss or the company under the bus and make it appear as if it’s the companies fault as to why you are leaving. Maybe it is something with the company, but leave with a little more class and don’t blame other people.

  10. Don’t make a fool out of yourself. Being bad and acting bad will someday come back and bite your behind. I see no reason why somebody would make a scene when quitting their job – show some class and class will be what you get.

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  12. Being in HR, I’ve seen all kinds of ‘interesting’ ways people have quit their jobs. Most are professional, but I remember getting a text message a few years ago simply stating “this isn’t going to work, good luck”. This text came about 2 days after he didn’t show up for work or bother to answer any attempts to reach him.

  13. Don’t go burning those bridges. I have seen people just walk out in the middle of the work day and quit. No two weeks no notice at all. Be professional and know that you are doing the right thing and like many have already stated you never know who might be in charge at the next job if you ever decide to go back to work.

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  16. Personally, I have left my jobs on good terms each time even giving almost a 3 month heads up to my boss for one of my prior jobs. By leaving on good terms, I have been able to actually go back to a job a year later and pick up where I left off.

    There’s no bad that comes from leaving on good terms so I figure that everyone should try to.

    The Warrior

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  19. Nice to see some examples of it done badly to avoid.

    I think that humility and a focus on not burning bridges is incredibly important when leaving an employer (especially if you have been with them for a while). It will surprise you how often you’ll meet someone from an old company in the future and you don’t want a bad reputation for something you did when leaving an old employer.

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