Can we take a moment to talk about how supremely awkward it is to quit a job? Even when they’ve kind of been d-bags and you would love nothing more than causing a scene and explaining to them in no uncertain terms exactly why they suck (but never would, because you’re a professional).

We found 3 people with work stories that are worse than yours and asked an actual Professional Career Coach Tina Monk, why you should ignore that super tempting devil on your shoulder and deal with the situation like an adult.

The First Sitch:

I work as a lawyer and I’ve been at my current company for 2 years. A few months ago they announced my promotion in a large meeting, without even telling me about it, let alone having discussed the MUCH larger workload with me, all with absolutely no pay rise.

I continually attempted to set up meetings to discuss it with my direct boss, and when he kept ditching it, his boss. No-one ever made time for me.

I was done being taken advantage of and I have now been offered and accepted another job. I’m very excited about it but uncertain how much to discuss with my current work when I hand in my notice.

If they ask, is there any purpose at this point to discuss the reasons they essentially forced me into looking for other work? Or do I just leave it so we all remain on the best terms and I move on with my life and let them figure out where they went wrong on their own?

What You Want To Do But Absolutely Should NOT:

Don’t bother trying to set a meeting, just type up a resignation letter that simply says ‘I’m out’ and grab a bevvie (this will make sense in a second). Keeping eye contact, walk straight into your boss’s office without saying a single word and slap the letter on the desk right in front of him. Enjoy a victory sip and strut out.

Actual Expert Advice That You Should Definitely Take:

“You have done the best you can to try giving them feedback and to ease your own conscience, you may want to try to do so once more before you leave. It would be good to do this with your line manager rather than going over his head; that’s not usually a politic move.

Explain clearly and concisely your perspective and how the change has impacted you and that you have an exciting new opportunity. It’s always best to leave a job on good terms so beware of laying blame, judging or criticising as you never know when you might come across these people again.”

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or just do this…jk plz don’t

The Second Sitch:

I’m a receptionist for a state-wide organization, but each office operates separately. I got my job about 5 months ago and in the last month, they re-defined the role so I had to reapply and compete with a lot of other candidates. I wasn’t told anything about this when I was hired, or any time right up until just before the new role was advertised.

I successfully got the new role, but at the same time, I applied for other jobs outside my office but within the organization and I successfully got one of those too.

Because of her past actions, I don’t trust my current supervisor to put me forward for training or tell me about advanced roles when they come up and I’m excited to grow with the company, so I’ve decided to take the other job. How do I tell my current office that I’ll be leaving when I only just got re-hired?

What You Want To Do But Absolutely Should NOT: 

My take? Bake a cake, that’s a nice thank you, but write ‘too late suckers’ on top. Then bolt out.

Actual Expert Advice:

“I believe that honesty is usually the best policy and it’s best to tell them that you see more room for career growth and development in the new role. You have appreciated the experience that you have gained in the current role and that they selected you and thank them for that. Keep it short and simple so that nobody can argue with you. If you go into lengthy explanations, it starts to sound like excuses.”

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The Final Sitch:

I was hired in a standard sales role for a local designer. Pretty early on my employer promised to move me into an office/communictions role if I moved cities to set up a new store and spent the first 2 months as retail manager.

Six months later and I am still basically single-handedly running the store and the only 2 casual employees my boss hasn’t chased away with her actions (we’ve gone through 5 others, and that’s everyone we’ve hired).

My boss is progressively getting more erratic in her behaviour: breaking down in tears, making promises and never keeping them, asking for a task to be completed then getting furious that we didn’t leave it for her to do, finalising schedules extremely last minute and constantly changing them and getting mad on the 2 occasions I’ve made appointments I can’t change on days I was supposed to have off, belittling…honestly there’s more but you wouldn’t believe it.

About a month ago I tried to talk to her to see if there was still a path for me to get where she promised. Her treatment of me since then has only gotten worse. I’ve given it everything.

I won’t stay in a job to be treated like this, but the thing is I was SO excited about the original job promises and if that was to happen the experience might be worth dealing with her for. Is it worth trying to talk to her again, and how I should best frame that? Or is it time to cut and run?

What You Want To Do But Absolutely Should NOT:

Just never show up again. Literally, peace out. Don’t answer calls, don’t email. She. Cray.

Actual Expert Advice:

“It’s time to run away as fast and far as you can! This person is NOT going to change and, as you’ve said yourself, is actually getting worse. Staying there is actually holding you back from being able to look for and find your dream job as you probably don’t have the time or energy with all that’s going on.

You can quit by citing that the job has not turned out as you were led to believe and you are keen to find a job that offers what you are looking for. I would spend less time trying to please your employer because you’re never going to be able to do that and more time looking for your ideal job.”

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Basic Tips To Quit Your Job

Some quick-fire points from Tina to help you quit your job on good terms as a responsible adult:

  • Provide one solid reason for quitting that you can sum up briefly and concisely.
  • Don’t over explain, it begins to sound like excuses.
  • Explain that you have an offer that is too good to refuse for career development purposes.
  • Thank them for the opportunity and experience that they have given you.

Image: iStock / ninode