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Quit Your Job with Class

Be professional when you resign from your job and take the proper steps to make sure you get a positive reference from your employer.

As a military spouse, you may leave positions for several reasons. Perhaps you need to resign due to a PCS move or maybe you took a job after a PCS that isn't right for you. You might have completed your degree and have limited advancement opportunities at your current job. Whatever your reasons for giving notice, act professionally, never burn bridges and remember you may be asking your boss or your employer for a reference or a networking contact in the future. Before, during and after a resignation, it is important to act professionally and positively about your employment.

Preparing to quit

Whether you are moving to a new location or changing jobs, remember these tips.

  • Quit for a good reason. Never resign on impulse or walk out angry. You may be working in a difficult work environment, feel unappreciated, require a different work schedule due to conflicts with child care or illness or just realize the job isn't for you. Whatever your reasons, weigh your decision carefully and remember, all jobs have challenges.
  • If you decide to leave, stay focused on what you were hired to do. Continue working and avoid doing nothing or creating chaos in hopes of being let go. If the job isn't for you, start job hunting, but continue to complete your assigned tasks to the best of your ability.
  • Give ample notice. Give at least a two-week notice minimum or longer if possible, or if required by union contract or employment agreement.
  • Manage your attitude. If you're not happy with your job, search for another position but keep your feelings to yourself. Once you find a new position, don't brag to your coworkers about a huge salary increase or awesome benefits while you're working out your notice. Stay professional.

Giving your resignation

Notify your boss first so they don't hear about your departure through the grapevine. Follow these tips for a professional resignation.

  • Draft a resignation letter. Create a well-written, professional resignation letter – your official notice that you are leaving. Keep your resignation letter brief, positive and to the point. Remember that this is part of your personnel file.
  • Resign in person, if possible. Resign in person and follow up with a formal resignation letter for your employment file. Resigning by email is a last resort, but you might have to if you are a remote employee.
  • Thank your employer. Take the time to thank your employer verbally and in writing for the opportunity to work for their organization or company.

Professional behavior

The time between when you give notice and when you leave your job should be handled professionally. Here are some tips to help you maintain a professional attitude during this time.

  • Maintain a high standard of performance.
  • Avoid burning bridges with your employer or fellow employees.
  • Stay positive and avoid gossiping, complaining or bragging about your new job.
  • Be available to train your replacement, if possible and requested.

Maintaining connections

Your current managers and coworkers may be your future references. Don't neglect to take these steps.

  • Ask for and share contact information.
  • Connect via social networking channels and keep in touch on a professional basis.
  • Thank coworkers and managers for their encouragement and support.

If you must resign from a job, do it with class by leaving a positive impression and securing professional references for future positions. Talk with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 for additional feedback on the best way to leave your job. For additional guidance, use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website.

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