The Right and Wrong Ways to Quit Your Job

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Published October 03, 2013

| FOXBusiness

Forget two weeks notice. How about an interpretive dance instead?

That’s just what Marina Shifrin did when she decided to quit her video editing job in China, due to its demanding hours and what she described as value of quantity over quality of content. Shifrin uploaded a video of herself dancing to Kanye West’s’ hit “Gone” with text streaming over the video explaining why she needed out. The clip soon went viral, and needless to say, her boss accepted the resignation.

While Shifrin’s move was attention-catching and displayed her creativity and editing skills, Nicole Williams, career expert for LinkedIn, says she wouldn’t suggest any copycat videos find their way to the Web anytime soon.

“On a positive note, she will get noticed by the virtue of this, because it demonstrates her talent,” Williams says. “The second, third, and fourth time something like this happens, it won’t get you any traction. It’s a slippery slope.”

So unplug your video camera and step away from Twitter. Here are a few tips for leaving your job on the right foot:

Tell your boss first. No boss wants to hear from the office rumor mill that an employee is leaving, Williams says. “They want to hear it first from you,” she says. “It’s a private conversation.”

Just like Shifrin’s video, which leaves her boss nameless, Williams also says to never go out trashing your higher-ups. This is a surefire way to burn bridges.

Thank everyone. It sounds simple, but Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career expert, SixFigureStart®, says many forget how much being humble matters on their way out of a job.

“You never know when you will see these people again,” Ceniza-Levine says. “Even if you don’t feel this way—thank people for being good coworkers, your team for helping you, your bosses for mentoring you. Work out how to make the smoothest transition.”

Make it painless. Your most memorable time in the office? Williams says it’s your first and last week on the job. “You could have worked your butt off for three years, then you do something outrageous and it reflects badly on the company,” she says. “You screw this up if you don’t depart gracefully.”

Think of timing. Even though you are leaving, sometimes giving more than two weeks heads-up is a smart way to preserve your reputation, says Ceniza-Levine.

“If you are in the middle of a big project that is rolling out in three or four weeks, you want to see that through,” she says. “It may be shorter or longer, depending on what the company wants. You want to show you are at least flexible.”

Keep it positive. Do not trash your old company or bosses at your new job, Williams says. “They may see you as kind of a risk or loose cannon,” she says.

Stay away from social media. Quitting or speaking poorly of your place of employment on social media is a definite no-no, says Williams. “This is not the way to go, because the distribution is so fast,” she says. “You want to have the conversations you need to have independently and privately, so they can absorb it.”

Leave the door open. Even if you don’t necessarily want to stay in touch, Ceniza-Levine says you need to appear as though you do. “Give your personal contact information out, and collect that information from everyone—especially for references in the future,” she says. “These are the things that endear you to everyone.”

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