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How to Quit a Job Professionally: What to Say to Quit a Job?

Tips on How to Quit a Job Professionally

We all have to do it at one point in our lives. You have slaved away for hours at a nine-to-five job that helps pay the bills and make ends meet. The boss is a jerk and your colleagues fail to appreciate any of the work that you do.

The end of the workweek arrives and you can finally put your feet up to relax for a few days.

Unfortunately, the weekend flies by, and then it’s back to the grind. Sunday night feels worse than Monday night because you have five full days of torment ahead of you instead of just four.

On Monday morning, you push the snooze button repeatedly until the very last minute because you cannot be late. The morning is a mad rush to work. The traffic is heavy, but you barely make it on time.

As you enter the office, you aren’t late but everyone glares at you like you could have very well been. The boss throws paperwork on your desk as a punishment for being the last one to arrive—even though you are technically and legally on time.

15 Reasons to Quit Job (Office Space)

Does this scenario resemble anything like your weekly routine?

If so, then it is time to quit your job and find something new. Life is too short for continuous misery. It’s time to educate yourself on how to quit a job professionally, learn what to say to quit a job, and advance your career.

Maybe you need some extra motivation to take the next step. Possibly, you’re too scared to quit or too worried about what could happen if you try. It could be a combination of comfort and reluctance coupled with fear. Fear is futile in any situation.

As Nelson Mandela said, "The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

You must face your fear and push onward. Move on with your life and do what you desire most.

Do you still need more motivation?

Below are several reasons to quit your job if you are still feeling reluctant. We scoured the Internet to find things that contribute to job satisfaction and discovered several reasons to quit a job. Look at the list and see if you notice anything familiar with your current work situation.

Top 10 Evident Reasons to Quit Job

  • Not engaging or meaningful work
  • Low pay
  • Minimal benefits
  • No leadership role
  • No job security
  • No potential for advancement
  • Little respect
  • No appreciation
  • Toxic work culture
  • No autonomy to work undirected

Did you check more than four of these reasons to quit a job?

Anything over four factors on the list should be a bright red warning light.

What to Say to Quit a Job

By this point, you have probably determined that you definitely must quit your dead-end job. Now you need some effective strategies to resign gracefully.

Understand how to quit a job professionally before you run off blindly into the void without a final paycheck and your severance. There are two strategies that work best. The first method is the blunt honesty strategy. The second method is the “white lie” positive politeness strategy.

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Both methods are equally effective. However, the strategy that you choose will depend a lot on your personality and current temperament.

How to Quit a Job: Blunt Honesty Strategy

Use the blunt honesty method if you could really care less about hurting your boss’s feelings. If you feel like you have been mistreated and have facts to back it up, go ahead with this powerful tactic. You can avoid sugar coating events and cut straight to the chase.

First, go through the list of reasons to quit a job previously mentioned. Highlight anything in the list that you think applies to your work situation and use it in your 2-week notice email. Add any other factors that are more specific to your work environment.

Write down all of these reasons in point form first. When you are finished brainstorming all of the reasons to quit the job, gather them together and format them properly in a well-written email. We will outline how to format the resignation email at the end of this article.

How to Quit a Job: Positive Politeness Strategy

Perhaps you are more kind-hearted and want to leave the job without burning your bridges. As much as your boss and colleagues deserve to be called out for their flaws, you may want to leave the old ship without taking down all of its masts. Let it sail away in one piece while you escape on the rescue boat paddling safely to the shore.

If this resembles your character more, pick the positive politeness strategy. Think of it as a “white lie” strategy that will save face and not hurt anyone’s feelings or diminish their opinion of you. Using this method, you are handling the situation with kids' gloves.

With the politeness strategy, think of a few fictitious reasons why you need to quit the job. There are endless lies you can say, but try to pick one or two that are most believable without expectations to elaborate specifically on.

For example, you could say that you have a family issue that must be contented with or that you are going back to school to become a full-time student. Those are two gems that are both very effective resignation tactics. Again, remember to pick an excuse that is believable and does not require extra elaboration or in-depth personal cross-examination.

Go with your gut. Trust your intuition and choose the quitting strategy that feels best.

How to End a Job Email Examples

Now that you have picked your strategy for quitting the job, it is time to write your resignation email. First and foremost, make it brief, yet concise and direct. Make sure that you follow a professional email format and use all the proper salutations at the beginning.

Remember to submit your resignation email two weeks before your official last day of work. Since you are likely on a monthly salary, send the email two weeks before you would receive your next paycheck. For example, if you get paid on January 31st, send your email on January 17th.

There are several example templates for resignation emails that you could use by doing a simple search for them online. We have outlined two examples using both quitting strategies to give you some additional ideas.

How to End a Job Email: Blunt Honesty Example


I am writing to notify you that I have decided to resign from my position at YOUR COMPANY’S NAME effective DATE OF LAST DAY OF WORK.

I appreciate the opportunity working for you over the past NUMBER OF YEARS. During this time, I have learned a lot from the experience. Having endured this work environment for so long, I believe that I can find another position that aligns with my career goals. It is important to work in an environment that is engaging, meaningful, supportive, respectful, and collaborative with some room for autonomy.

Thank you,


How to End a Job Email Example: Positive Politeness Example


I am writing to notify you that I have decided to resign from my position at YOUR COMPANY’S NAME effective DATE OF LAST DAY OF WORK.

I appreciate the opportunity working for you over the past NUMBER OF YEARS. During this time, I have learned a lot from the experience. Unfortunately, I must resign from the position as I have decided to return to school as a full-time student.

Thank you for your understanding.

Kind regards,


Extra Tips on How to Quit a Job Professionally

Do you need more advice on what to say to quit a job?

Watch the video on how to quit a job you just started or have been working at for years.

If you have any other tips or personal experiences about quitting a job, please leave them in the comments section.

POLL: Strategies for What to Say to Quit a Job

VIDEO: How to Quit a Job You Just Started

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