How to Call & Quit a Job

Think about what you're going to say before you make that call.

Think about what you're going to say before you make that call.

"Hello, boss from hell? I QUIT!" As enjoyable as this approach to resigning might appear, unfortunately, it's not really the best one to take. In-your-face phone calls or flamboyant gestures on your way out the door will definitely get your message across, but they'll probably also ruin your integrity, your professional reputation and any chance of ever getting a decent recommendation from your former employer. In fact, phone calls, in-your-face or not, are not generally regarded as a good way to quit your job. Face-to-face conversations, followed by an official resignation letter, are the recommended options. But if you have to "phone it in," make sure to do it smartly and professionally.

Weigh carefully your reasons for quitting your job, and formulate your "plan B" to pay the bills. Maybe you already have a new job lined up, or you're marrying a millionaire, or you just won the lottery. If you already have it figured out, great; you have no worries. Once you're sure it's the right decision, you need to notify your employer of your decision.

Do your homework first. Review your company's employee manual or human resource policies to find out what your company expects from resigning employees. Some companies want the standard two weeks' notice, while others request a full month. If your company specifically requires that you give written notice of your departure to "officially" resign, a phone call probably isn't going to cut it.

Talk to your supervisor in person if at all possible to tell him you're quitting. But if you can't talk to him face-to-face -- if he's out of the country for an extended period, for example -- you might have to make a phone call to announce your departure. Before you make the phone call, remove your personal belongings and papers from your office -- just in case your call isn't well received. Nothing screams "awkward" louder than having to skulk back into the office to get your stuff after you've quit your job and everybody's gossiping about you and your departure.

Explain to your immediate supervisor during your phone call that you have decided to quit. You're not obligated to give a reason, but if you can offer a simple, short, true justification, do so. For example, you might tell her that you accepted another position or you're quitting to go back to school. Be respectful and professional -- and don't bad-mouth the company, your boss or anyone else. Give her at least two weeks' notice of your intended last day. Follow up your phone call immediately with an official letter of resignation; keep a copy of this letter for your files.

 

About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.

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