Can You Just Quit a Job [Best Practice]

Many people have, at one time or another found themselves asking, can you just quit a job? 

In today’s economy, with so many people out of work and unable to find employment that meets their standards, the question seems even more pressing. 

This article aims to give definitive answers to the question and highlight the best practices to follow if you plan to quit your job in the most effective way possible.

Read on to learn more.

Should You Quit Your Job Without Notice?

The best practice is always to give two weeks’ notice before you quit your job. Consider carefully before deciding whether or not to quit your job without notice. 

On the one hand, it may be tempting to bail on your current situation as soon as you realize things aren’t going as planned.

If you’re happy with your job and the people you work with, it may not be a good idea to quit without giving notice. 

Conversely, if you have an increased workload or management issues, maybe it’s time to seek a new job.

However, if you decide to leave prematurely, there are risks associated with doing so. 

First and foremost, quitting without giving proper notice could disrupt relationships with co-workers and superiors. 

Additionally, depending on your role in the company, leaving suddenly may cause significant disruptions or even lead to a loss of revenue. 

So while quitting is an option at times, consider all of the potential consequences first before making a decision.

SEE: Learn more about resilience training to keep going when work gets hectic

Why Do People Quit Their Job Without Notice

There are a few reasons why people might quit their job without notice. One reason is that the person may not be happy with the current situation at work and would like to find a new opportunity. 

Another reason could be that there has been some significant change in the company or the industry where they work, and they feel like it’s time to move on. 

Sometimes employees will simply decide it’s time to focus on other aspects of their life outside of work and won’t give any warning beforehand.

Another reason could be health problems, family problems, or unforeseen circumstances. 

There can be many different reasons for quitting a job, so if you feel uncertain about your position at work, speak with someone about it. This is especially important if you haven’t expressed your feelings yet.

SEE: Explore tips to cope if you hate working

How to Quit Your Job the Right Way

Quitting your job can often be difficult, but it’s important to do it correctly to ensure a smooth transition. 

Consider your personal goals, workplace conditions, and financial stability when leaving your current job.

If you’re thinking about quitting your job but aren’t sure what steps to take next, read on for tips on how to quit your job the right way.

1. Identify your reasons for wanting to quit your job

To quit your job in the most effective, least stressful way possible, start by identifying all of your reasons for wanting to leave, no matter how small. 

You can devise a plan to ensure a smooth exit once you know why you want out, whether it’s a specific grievance or general dissatisfaction with the job.

SEE: Explore the most satisfying career development goals

2. Have a plan

After you’re sure why you want to quit your job, you must devise a plan. What are your goals? What are your expectations? 

Are there any realistic targets you can set for the short and long term? Getting fired or let go becomes much less stressful when you know where you want to go and what you need to do to get there. 

And even if it does happen, knowing how to handle it will make the process much easier.

Plan what you’re going to do next, and make sure you have enough money to cover some costs while looking for a new job. 

3. Give a notice (usually two weeks’ notice)

Usually, when you want to quit your job, the best way to do it is to give your employer two weeks’ notice

This way, you allow enough time for them to find a replacement and for any important work that needs to be finished. 

It’s also good practice to give your boss a proper reason for leaving, showing you’re upset about the situation and not just trying to freeload off them.

4. Be strategic about your timing

Quitting your job is a big decision that should be weighed carefully before committing to it. There are many factors to consider, from the financial impact of leaving to your level of satisfaction with your current work situation. 

The best way to make sure you take the appropriate steps in calculating all of these factors is to be systematic and deliberate. 

It means planning your exit strategy ahead of time, dealing with unexpected contingencies and any follow-up requirements you may have.

Being strategic about timing will help you avoid any surprises or misunderstandings down the road. 

By taking the time to think through every step of your departure, you can minimize the chances that you’ll have to deal with any negative fallout arising from it. 

And if things go south, having a plan on hand will make clearing the air much easier.

SEE: Here’s why time management is important to grow as a person

5. Submit a formal resignation letter

Congratulations on your decision to leave your job. Quitting your job in a professional setting can be one of the most challenging but ultimately rewarding decisions you will ever make. 

It is essential to submit a formal resignation letter to your employer. A polite, written explanation of your reasons for leaving will help minimize any potential conflict or misunderstanding. 

Additionally, be prepared to answer any employer questions about the transition process. Finally, keep all important documentation—including copies of all signing documents—for future reference.

SEE: Learn more about recommendation letter signature

6. Don’t burn bridges

When you want to quit your job, the last thing you need is to have relationships with your boss or co-workers destroyed. 

Suppose you’re planning on quitting in a respectful and dignified way. In that case, you must do everything possible to avoid destroying your relationship with your boss or co-workers.

When you give yourself enough room and time to think things through, you’ll realize that quitting is the best thing for you and your career. So be wise, be patient, and don’t burn any bridges.

SEE: Explore practical tips to keep in touch with your former coworker

7. Accept that quitting may not be easy mentally and emotionally

It’s hard to say goodbye to a job you’ve held for years, but eventually, it may be time to move on. 

While quitting your job may not be easy, it can be made easier by mentally and emotionally preparing for the process. 

Quitting your job correctly will set the stage for a successful transition that preserves your dignity and improves your chances of finding another career.

SEE: Find out if Indeed works

FAQs

Is quitting a job any good?

Quitting your job is not easy. It’s often a difficult decision and one that can be difficult to justify to yourself or others.

That said, sometimes it’s the right decision, and there are many reasons why someone might want to quit their job. 

What is a notice period? 

A notice period is a time you have to give your employer before leaving your job. The notice period varies based on the situation, but most employers require at least two weeks’ notice before quitting.

Is it illegal to quit your job without notice?

It is never illegal to quit your job without notice. The only law that might apply would be if your employer had a legally-enforceable labor contract that said you needed to give two weeks’ notice.

How do you know if it’s time to quit your job?

The short version is this: If you’re not enjoying it, if it’s not giving you what you need and wants in life, then it’s time to move on.

Final Thoughts 

Can you just quit a job? If it feels like your current position isn’t fulfilling or if other opportunities appeal to you more, by all means, consider quitting. 

Besides, everyone has to make a living, and many people have jobs they don’t like. But it’s important not to quit your job just because you don’t like it. 

Quitting can have serious consequences – not only for yourself but also for your friends and family. If you decide to leave your job, consider the long-term effects of that decision.

The key is to be honest with yourself and understand what’s driving your decision. 

Learn more about employee offboarding.

Thank you for considering quitting your job properly and professionally.