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I want to quit my job – what do I do now?

Resigning from your current job is a very big step and can feel very overwhelming. No matter if it’s because you want to persue a new career opportunity or that you just started to notice you’re constantly unhappy and stressed, you should feel empowered to quit your current job.

But how can you communicate this and still leave on good terms?

We explain to you the important steps and how you should approach handing in your resignation.

Step 1: Create a storyline

What is the reason you’re quitting your job? This is something you will be asked a lot. So you better have a good answer ready.

Ideally you want to avoid talking bad about others and don’t offend anyone, but still be honest.

A good tip is to focus on your future career plans instead of on your current workplace. For example, instead of the citing conflicts with your manager or a colleague, you talk about the exiting new challenge that you always wanted to pursue.

Step 2: Talk to your manager

This might be the most difficult part, but it definitely is important to be transparent about your decision. Your manager should be the first to be informed because you don’t want him/her to hear it from someone else.

Step 3: Hand in a resignation letter

Remember that to officially end a working contract you need a written resignation. You can find templates for that online but make sure to personalize it to your situation.

Remember that in Germany, the cancellation period is always specified in your working contract. If there is no specific mention, the statutory cancellation period as an employee is of four weeks.

Step 4: Define a communication strategy

Discuss with your manager how to inform the rest of the team. Many managers want to do the announcement before you share the news, so make sure to understand his/her approach.

But also remember: You want to leave on good terms with your team members. So take the time to have a proper goodbye with them.

Step 5: Prepare for the transition

Use the last weeks in your job to facilitate a transition for the next person taking over your position, for example by being involved in the recruiting process or passing your tasks to another employee. You can also use those weeks to strengthen your network towards other colleagues by going for lunch or coffee meetings.

Step 6: Make sure to get what you deserve

Make sure to understand what benefits and salary you are entitled to once you quit the working contract.

Step 7: Organize a small goodbye party

This is always a nice gesture to do and a great opportunity to exchange contacts and build connections for the future.

Step 8: Return any company property

Don’t forget to return any company property you received during your time there.

Step 9: Stay in touch

Once you leave the company, remember to stay in touch with your colleagues and friends you made at the company. Keep in mind that everyone’s careers are developing, and maybe you can help eachother in the future.

Picture of Laura Villafuerte

Laura Villafuerte

HR expert & Career Coach

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