When people decide to quit their job, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming or even noteworthy experience. Some people change jobs like they change cell phones, always looking for the upgrade that blows the last piece of scrap out of the water. They might have even liked their old job and could even miss some of the people that used to brighten up their work day. You might see them on their last day, setting down their box of assorted personal junk to shake hands with your boss, both of them wearing that “well isn’t this regrettable” half smile that is appropriate on such occasions.
Then, POOF! They’re gone.
Off to better and brighter prospects with a reference in their pocket.
Other times, however, this departure is way less amicable. Let’s say, for instance, that you hate your job.
Now I don’t mean hate like “I hate meter maids,” or “I hate it when my microwave burrito is still frozen in the middle.” I mean hate like you can’t believe that you made it through another day at that job…every day. Hate like Batman hates the Joker and Superman hates Kryptonite. Hate like Broncos fans hate the Seahawks.
When you have that sort of relationship with your job, then quitting with class can be somewhat of an exercise in restraint.
Heck, you might have been rehearsing your resignation speech for years and letting all that good material go to waste would be a shame indeed. So, let’s say you go ahead with your grand plan to quit like you have one day left to live. The first thing that you need to do to burn your bridges completely with this employer is find that sweet, sweet final straw. The thing that you decide has pushed you too far…for the last time.
It could be a big thing like a co-worker getting a bonus for one of your ideas…again, or something as trivial as nobody bothering to refill the coffee pot. Whatever your trigger, the only thing that you have to do is declare that “This is the final straw!” before marching into your boss’s office.
Now, if that “Final Straw” declaration was exciting for you, it’s nothing compared to your grand quitting speech.
This is where you let your supervisor have it, I mean real no-holds-barred self righteousness. Even if your supervisor isn’t the reason that your quitting or if they were actually pretty nice to you, don’t be tempted to let them off easy. They are the figurehead of your personal purgatory and you gotta let them know in the most inflammatory way possible.
Once you’ve berated your boss into a stunned silence, it’s time to pack up your things (as loudly as possible, of course) and shout some movie quote or one-liner as you exit the building for the last time. You really can’t go wrong with “Hasta la vista baby,” or “You can take take this job and shove it,” or “You can’t handle the truth,” (just to confuse them).
However you decide to execute your grand exit, the most important thing is that you leave any chance at getting a reference smoldering on the floor by the copy machine.
If, however, you want your time at that job to amount to anything positive, you’ll quit with class.
Employers today are incredibly wary of gaps in the employment histories of their applicants, meaning that you’ll probably have to leave your most recent position right there at the top of your resume just to get into the interview stage. This can lead to some seriously awkward conversations if you burned your bridges behind you.
Fortunately, quitting like a lady or gentleman is pretty easy!
You just give your notice, stay productive for the last few weeks and refrain from any 4 letter words in the exit interview. By quitting with class, you’re turning all of that time that time working that crappy job into a reference to help you move onto something better.
Who knows, they might even throw you a pizza party on your last day!