It’s getting close to that time of year, when people get year end bonuses and many prepare to jump ship in the coming months. Almost ten years ago, I walked into my boss’s office and quit my high paying job in private equity to pursue work I was more passionate about.
Just before quitting my job, I got the best piece of advice I’ve ever received on how to effectively leave your job.
I’ve now given this advice to dozens of clients, colleagues and friends, and they’ve all said it works like a charm.
If you’re planning to quit your job, but you’re nervous about how to have the conversation, there’s one surprising thing you should do;
Let them see how excited you are for the next chapter.
This is counter-intuitive because we think it will upset our current employer to see us happy or excited about leaving our job. But the opposite is true.
If you quit your job in an apologetic or uncertain manner, it will make your boss question your decision. Instead, if you quit your job by letting your current employer know just how excited you are for the next phase of your career and life, he/she will feel excited for you.
If you have no idea what you want to do next, that’s fine too, you can still share how much you’re looking forward to spending uninterrupted time getting clear on your next step.
Energy is contagious. Your boss(es) will respond to whatever energy you bring to the conversation when you quit. So stay positive, enthusiastic and unapologetic.
Rather than viewing this as a betrayal of them or your current organization, share with them how your current role has helped you get to this place and why you’re grateful for what you’ve learned.
A five minute process to honor the old and welcome the new.
Before you quit your job, it’s important to honor all you’ve received from it and to welcome the new job you’ll be going to next (if that’s the case). I recommend setting aside five or ten minutes when you won’t be interrupted. Sit quietly, take a few deep breaths, and then think back on your current job. Talk to your current job as if it were a person, thanking it for all it’s given you.
Even if you’ve hated this job, it has provided you with some stability and perhaps taught you a few new skills. Think of at least three things you appreciate about your current job, and tell your job (in your mind, or even out loud if you’re in a private room); “Thank you for giving me xxx. Thank you for the stability and the paycheck. I’m grateful. And it’s time for me to move on.”
See your current job acknowledging your decision to leave.
Then, imagine your new job and if you don’t have one yet, simply imagine the next job you’ll have. Welcome it by saying; “I look forward to joining you. I’m excited to feel more xxx (energized, creative, useful, impactful) working with you. Thank you for offering me this new opportunity. I’m ready.” See your new job welcoming you with open arms.
After you’ve done this, you’re ready to have the conversation with your boss. Just before you go into the room to quit your job, visualize or imagine how excited you are for what’s next. Breathe that enthusiasm into your whole being, and then walk out and tell your boss(es) you’re quitting with a big smile on your face as you share how happy you are for what’s next!
If you want to learn how to find work you love, here’s a free webinar on 9 Steps To Create Work You Love.