The Importance of Quitting a Job Gracefully –

One of the most exciting moments in entrepreneurship is the day that you get to leave your “day job.” The days of splitting your time are over, and you can finally focus solely on the work you really want to do. Although you may be tempted to dance on the grave of your old corporate life, remember that it’s never a good idea to burn bridges. Your former employer, colleagues, and connections can prove to be valuable in your new life as an entrepreneur. How can you break up and still be friends? Read on for our best suggestions.

  • Make sure you’re ready. There’s nothing worse than leaving and later realizing it was premature. You don’t want to have to go back to your old job with your tail between your legs asking to come back. Are you sure it’s time? Don’t make a move until you’re certain, but not so much that it paralyzes you unnecessarily.
  • Give notice. Unless you’re an overnight success, it’s likely that you have the opportunity to plan your departure for weeks or even months. Don’t make it a surprise for your employer. Give at least two weeks of notice before you leave for good.
  • Be personal. Don’t just send an email. Write a resignation letter, and make an appointment with your boss to go over it together. During this meeting, you can discuss the exciting reason why you’re now able to move on, and your expectations for the future.
  • Stay committed to the end. It’s easy to stop caring much when you’re halfway out the door, but resist the urge to check out before you actually leave. Stay on top of your assignments, be nice to your coworkers, and behave as if you plan to be working there 10 years from now. It’s not just polite: misbehave, and you might be asked to leave before you’re ready.
  • Leave the door open. If you’re happy with your job, let your boss know that you’d like to stay in touch and be available. You might be willing to take on freelance work or major projects in the future. Be sure to connect with your boss, coworkers, and other key personnel on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other relevant social media before your departure.
  • Say thanks. A little thank you goes a long way. Recognize that your departure has nothing to do with the company, it’s just that you’ve got bigger and better things to do. Share your appreciation for the time you’ve spent and leave things on a positive note.
  • Resist the urge to dance in the endzone. Sure, leaving to focus on your business is a big win for you personally and professionally, but the people you’re leaving behind? Do not get to share that win with you. Chances are they’re excited for you, but don’t rub it in their faces.

Are you ready to move on and go full time with your small business? Share your experience in the comments.