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The Smart Way to Quit Your Job

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

There must be few employees out there who have not at some point had a job they would like to quit in a raging blaze of glory against their employer.

The viral spread through social media of a slideshow picturing an attractive female employee publicly skewering her boss for calling her a HOPA (“hot piece of ass”), and spending too much time playing Farmville and reading Tech Crunch, indicates that it is a popular fantasy.

Although the original slideshow and the purported response were outed fairly quickly as humorous fakes, employees feeling inspired should think twice before unleashing their anti-employer angst publicly.

Think Ahead and Avoid Legal Trouble

Real life ‘big exit’ examples have included an employee dressing as a banana and delivering his notice to a live band, a JetBlue employee jumping down a plane’s emergency inflatable slide with a 4-pack of beers and a Goldman Sachs employee writing a resignation letter in the New York Times.

However, as the fake slideshow response highlighted at the end, there may be serious legal repercussions for employees that publicly denigrate their employer or boss without good reason when they leave.

Of course, employees suffering from genuine issues such as sexual harassment or some form of discrimination should seek legal advice before taking any action. Companies should also have formal policies and procedures in place to deal with employee complaints.

How to Quit the Smart Way

Even in the absence of formal issues, employees may reach the end of their tether for a variety of reasons. It may be no more than boredom, stress, poor management, a negative culture or simple personality clashes that fuel antipathy towards an employer. In these circumstances it is still better to leave on a positive note rather than burning bridges.

The main consideration should be to think long term. Some tips to consider:

· Review your contract for restrictive covenants to check you can move on to your next employer without running into legal problems.

· If you have a close relationship with your boss, it will be less of a shock to them if you discuss your intentions privately with them before handing in your official notice.

· Make sure you give the appropriate notice; this will be specified in your employment contract.

· Hand in your notice towards the end of the week, preferably on a Friday, to give yourself a break while it gets digested. Also, find out early on how your employer would like it communicated to colleagues.

· If you have an exit interview aim to be positive, polite, courteous and candid without being negative – if you must, offer suggested improvements rather than outright criticisms.

· Work hard during your notice period to leave the best impression and provide handover notes for colleagues that will be picking up your work.


Whatever the circumstances of leaving a job, seeking legal advice before making a move can offer peace of mind and help avoid any long term problems. For employment advice, please contact Aneil Balgobin via e-mail or by telephone on 0207 611 4848.

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