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What to Do Before You Quit Your Job

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Whether you’ve accepted an offer from another company or you’re leaving your current employer so that you can devote more time to hunting for a better position, there are a few things you should (and shouldn’t) do before you resign.

None of us can see the future, and you never know when you might need a reference from your current employer, so it’s best to be professional and courteous throughout this process. Plus, there are a few things you should do to help yourself before you leave, too.

  • Use Your Health Insurance While You Have It

Before you resign, go ahead and make any doctor or dentist appointments you’ve been putting off. This is especially good advice if you haven’t found a new job yet or if you are going to be freelancing for a while. However, even if you have a new job lined up immediately, it may take some time for your new insurance plan to kick in.

  • Finish Projects and Tie Up Loose Ends

Make life easier on your (soon to be former) coworkers and on your successor by finishing as many projects as possible and tying up as many loose ends as you can. If you must leave a project in the middle, talk with your supervisor about how you can help someone jump in to take your place. Whether you write a report about progress-to-date or you spend your last two weeks on the job training your replacement, you’ll be seen as a consummate professional.

  • Don’t Accept the Counteroffer

When you submit your letter of resignation, your company may attempt to keep you on board by offering you a raise, better benefits, and/or other compensation. Honestly, if it takes the threat of resignation to do these things, you probably do not want to work for this company anymore, even if you are only leaving because you’ve gotten a better offer somewhere else.

  • Be Professional and Give Notice

That said, don’t be rude or unprofessional. Be polite when you turn down their counteroffer, and be sure to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice before your last day on the job. And, until your last day, continue putting all you have into your job. You want to leave your former employers with a good impression of you that they’ll gladly pass along in future referrals.

About the Author

A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast, and a former human resources manager and recruiter.