How to Quit a Job

Quitting Your Job
Without Harming Yourself in the Process

At some point in your life, whether you're a teen or an adult, you're probably going to want to know how best to quit a job. There are a lot of fantasies and daydreams out there of how some people would like to quit their job, but it's almost always in the employee's own best interests to forego the temptation for theatrics and simply try to leave on good terms.

Before Quitting a Job

It can sometimes be hard to figure out how to quit a job, or even if quitting the job is the right choice.In the case of a teen's first job, there may end up being some "buyer's remorse" after getting hired. Perhaps the teen really dislikes his or her new job. Or maybe there's a problem involving the teen's ability to meet the job's responsibilities and expectations.

Regardless, it's critical that a teen who is considering quitting a job take a step back and consider the following questions and suggestions before making any rash decisions.

  • What is the reason for leaving?Self honesty is important here. The more clarity here, the less likely a teen will make the same mistake twice and end up in another unsuitable position. Jumping from one job to the next can be frustrating for the teen, the parents, and future employers.
  • Is this just a case of giving up or giving in? It can be hard for a teenager to adjust to a new environment where someone else sets the schedule. It can also be difficult for friends to adjust, too. And then there's school and a teen's chores and...the list goes on. It's important to give a new job at least a month and establish a routine to know for sure whether the job can work out before making a decision to bail.
  • Lessons Learned? It's easy to list all the reasons why a job isn't working out, but it's also useful to think about what conditions would be better for the next job. For example, if scheduling turned out to be an issue, the teen's scheduling requirements should be a central factor in the next teen job search (and if it is scheduling that is the issue, open communication with the current manager or boss is the best first step - employers are often willing to work with people if it means that they get to keep a good employee).

How to Quit A Job Professionally

Once the decision has been made to leave a job, it's time to give notice to the employer. A two-week notice period is standard.

This gives the employer time to begin the hiring and training process as well as adjust the future schedule.

It's best to provide written notification to prevent any possible confusion. A simple note with the current date along with the final date the employee will be available to work will do. It needs to be signed and the manager or supervisor understands when the employee will no longer be available for work.

It's important not to leave on bad terms - no leaving in a huff, no blaze of glory, no impulsive decisions made out of frustration. That's not how to quit your job under good circumstances. Bad mouthing management or fellow employees (no matter how much they may deserve it) just isn't worth it. There's not much benefit to doing so, and it could always come back to haunt you in the future.

It can be very awkward in the future when you run into someone with whom you parted on bad terms - whether in the work world or otherwise - and things will be easier if there are no hard feelings.

A good rule is it try to be as professional and courteous upon leaving a job as you were when you first started.

And don't forget the other teen job resources on this site, including the tips and resources specific to teen job searches and how to get hired.