Q&A: Proper protocol when quitting your job

Leaving a job graciously is just as important as starting one with your best foot forward. Here’s how.

Q: What’s the proper protocol when quitting your job?

A: So you’ve found your dream job and it’s time to quit your current gig. Depending on your relationship with your boss, you might be tempted to really let him or her have it. But squash that temptation — leaving a job graciously is just as important as starting one with your best foot forward. You want to leave a good impression regardless of why you’re resigning. When it comes to proper protocol, the Harvard Business Review says to start by speaking to your manager directly before telling colleagues or other folks at the company that you’re on your way out. While you shouldn’t feel obligated to explain your reasons for leaving, be prepared to be asked about it. Be sure to express your appreciation (you’ll no doubt be taking whatever you’ve learned to your new job), never leave the company in a bind (try to finish whatever you’re working on before you go) and give a fair amount of notice. (The standard is still two weeks, or a month if you’re management, but any extra time you could tack on to help train the “new you” is always appreciated.) Lastly, don’t slack off during your last couple weeks. Remember, many industries are small and you don’t want to be known as the guy or gal who quit and then sat around twiddling his or her thumbs.