How To Quit Your Job

JT O’Donnell, my friend and founder of CareerHMO has a mantra:

Every Job Is Temporary

This is true now more than ever.  We are a society on the move.  I’ve seen studies that suggest that most Millennials will have as many as 15 or 20 jobs.  This means that you are likely to quit.  I’m a Boomer, and I had six jobs between 1972 and 1988 when I founded my consulting, coaching and speaking business.  Remember, I’m form the generation that was told, “Find a good company and stay with it for your entire career.”

Way back in 1980, Johnny Paycheck, a country singer, came up with one way to quit your job.  Check it out.

I don’t suggest that you follow this model — no matter how tempting.  The folks as have some better advice for leaving a job gracefully.

You always want to leave a job on good terms.  Prospective employers will check references, and they will go beyond just checking in with HR — who in most cases will just verify your dates of employment.  They will look for people who knew you at your previous companies to find out what you’re really like.  So it makes sense to follow the advice in the article.

Here’s a personal story that makes this point.  Many years ago, I was contacted by a recruiter for a job that sounded pretty good to me.  I did a phone screening interview and an in person interview with the HR folks.  I was invited back to meet with the hiring manager.

In looking at my resume he said, “I see you worked for XXX company.  Do you know YYY?”  I said, “Yes, he was my replacement when I left that company.”  I didn’t tell him that I had recommended against hiring this guy.  I backed another candidate.

I thought my interview with the hiring manager went quite well.  When I didn’t hear anything for a couple of weeks, I got in touch with the recruiter and asked what was going on.  The recruiter told me that the hiring manager checked with our mutual acquaintance who gave me a bad reference.  My successor claimed that I had left the department in turmoil.  Which wasn’t true, but that was that.

While my story doesn’t directly relate to how I quit that job, it does reinforce the fact that you want to leave a position on good terms.  Follow the advice in the article and you’ll do fine.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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