How to Quit A Job (When It's Time, It's Time)

Dani from the People team helps us craft the perfect resignation letter. She’s even written a sample of a resignation letter for you to use.

A bottle of lemonade that says 'self-esteem juice' on it.

Heard of quiet quitting? The phrase has gone viral on TikTok recently. In response to long hours and burnout, many Gen Z and millennials have suggested kicking back and taking it easy, doing the bare minimum at work instead of actually quitting.

The trend has caused a lot of controversy. Is ‘quiet quitting’ sticking it to capitalism? Or just doing what exhausted workers have done for decades? Or is it just being a slacker?

Either way, the reality remains that many people want to leave their sh*tty jobs, and find something better.

So, this article is a guide to actually quitting.

From deciding whether it’s time to leave, to leaving on a positive note with a solid resignation letter.

Because, like financial health, this kind of thing is important - but it’s not something we’re taught in schools.

First off, why are so many people quitting their jobs?

Since the start of the pandemic, a record number of people have been quitting their jobs. It’s called the Great Resignation.

After such a long time working from home with no commute, many people decided their work-life balance is more important than they realized.

The main reasons people are resigning?

📍 Low pay

📍 No opportunities for growth

📍 Feeling disrespected at work

📍 Inadequate childcare

And this trend has only continued in 2022, with 1 in 5 workers planning to quit their jobs globally. So, you may be wondering…

Should I quit my job?

You don’t always have to wait until a terrible job has ground your soul into the consistency of a Ritz cracker left in someone’s back pocket to leave.

In fact, people who switch jobs frequently in their early careers tend to have higher wages and incomes in their prime-working years as discovered by economics Professor Henry Siu. He explained in an article for The Atlantic, “Job-hopping is actually correlated with higher incomes, because people have found better matches.”

This  doesn’t even necessarily mean quitting your job; it could mean role switching within your current place of work. This puts you out of your comfort zone, meaning you can sample different roles and skills, and then find a role that really clicks for you. It’s sometimes called the “explore-exploit” sequence.

If you do decide it’s time to leave, there are some things you gotta do to leave things on a positive note, and ultimately get the most out of your current position. Squeeze the life out of it like it has been doing to you 💖

What to say when quitting a job

Quitting a job well is something that your parents might have taught you, or you might feel totally in the dark about where to begin. There is a process to follow, and a way to do it that’s both polite and assertive.

Spoiler - it’s not like this:

You gotta remember to:

📍 Find out how long your notice period is. This should be in your employment contract. If not, two weeks is usually appropriate for customer service and hospitality roles.

📍 Write a letter of resignation, giving your notice, and thanking your employer for the experience you’ve gained.

📍 Tie up any loose ends of work you have to do.

📍 Ask for a reference. Even if you don’t need it right away, it’s easier than coming back to your employer months or years down the road.

We asked Cleo People team member Dani the best way to write a rock-solid resignation letter. This is how you do it, from a professional:

“Dear [Employer],

Please take this email/letter as note of my resignation from [insert position here]. As my notice period within my contract is [x] I believe my final working day will be [x] however if there is any holiday I am owed I am happy to take this into account.

Thank you for the knowledge and experience I have gained whilst working within [company], Please let me know if there is anything you need from me before my final day.


Jerry Maguire”

(I added that last bit.) Chef's kiss.

How to quit a job you just started

It happens. If you haven’t accepted the position yet, this is what Dani suggests for if you’ve changed your mind/think it’s trash/can’t do the hours etc:

“Thank you so much for taking the time to guide me through the job role and all it entails, I have truly enjoyed learning about the company and meeting the team.

Unfortunately on this occasion, I would like to withdraw my application. I apologize for the inconvenience, however, at this time I have decided to accept an alternative offer. I wish you all the best.”

Ok, what about if you’ve started the job and they’re asking for more than what your job description entails?

If you’re covering other people’s work as well as yours:

I wanted to discuss the current tasks I have been asked to manage. Are these new tasks likely to be a part of my job on a long-term basis? If so, Can we schedule a time to re-evaluate my job description, title and compensation to ensure this accurately reflects my additional responsibilities?”

If your boss is asking you to come in when you’re sick:

Unfortunately, I am feeling unwell today, therefore, I won't be able to come to work. I am going to rest today and I will update you as early as possible about whether I am fit enough to return tomorrow, I will/will not be available by email and I have rescheduled today’s tasks accordingly.”

If your boss is expecting you to work hours that you didn’t agree to:

"I wanted to bring attention to the recent changes in my scheduled hours. My usual working pattern has always been (x). Unfortunately, I am not able to work on the new requested schedule. I just wanted to confirm the days/hours I am available to work again so we can plan accordingly."

And finally, if you’re absolutely sure the job is trash, here’s how to write a resignation letter for a job you just started, according to Dani:

"Unfortunately, due to a change in my personal circumstances, please take this email/letter as a note of my resignation from (insert position here). As I am still within my probation period, My contract states I do not have a notice period. However, I would be happy to work my notice if this is not correct. If there is any holiday I am owed I am happy to take this into account.

Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about (company here) I apologize if this causes any inconvenience to you, please let me know if there is anything you need from me before my final day."

There you go.  If you need more of a push, just take a long hard look at this picture of Britney Spears. This is the energy you need to embody. Happy dumping!

Britney Spears wearing a t-shirt that says "dump him"
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