Resigning from your job can be very stressful, even if you hate the job you're leaving. Bitter coworkers may start calling you names like "Quitter" or "Short-timer" and there's always the chance you'll overhear things like, "You know that guy who always wears that ugly green shirt? He's outta here!" And of course, everyone will want to know what your new job will be, and (more importantly) how much you'll be making. But change is a part of life, and sometimes we must move on. So let's make sure you do it the right way.

Those who resign from their jobs usually fall into one of two categories.

  • You're changing your career path. You want to change your job completely (say, from a paralegal to a stand-up comic).

  • You're escaping an unhappy environment. This can be anything from an insensitive boss to poor advancement opportunities to just not liking the commute. Sometimes, people in this situation aren't particularly looking for a new job, but they receive an offer from a different company that can give them a better deal (be it through salary, benefits, more interesting tasks, whatever).

It might help to make a list of why you are resigning to see which category you fall into. More importantly, this list will help decide if you are truly ready to make this change.

If you're unhappy, have you exhausted all your options with your present company first? Have you spoken to your boss or the head of personnel about how your situation might be improved? Is it just a matter of more money or does it go deeper? If it's a problem with your boss, can you make a lateral move in the same company? After all, it's not always wise to run whenever there's a minor amount of trouble. You'd be surprised at how valuable you are to your company. By the way, this SYW assumes that you work for a company of some sort. If you work in your dad's garage, the process needn't be quite so formal. The bigger the company, the more important it is to stick to our advice.

OK, so let's assume that you have gone over all the options and already have one foot out the door. All you need now are the tools to bow out as efficiently as possible. (And the willpower not to put on a cowboy hat and serenade your boss with a twangy rendition of "Take this Job and Shove it.")Now try not to get too stress out about this decision; get excited! Change can be a very good thing. To help you relax as you make this decision check out the office humor section on


We're assuming you:

  • Are NOT independently wealthy
  • Do NOT have a sugar daddy (or sugar mama)
  • Are NOT just so fed up with your present job that you don't care what happens to you

Read between our subtle lines: you MUST have another job already guaranteed before you resign. Or do you prefer living on a street grate? So before you even breathe a word about quitting to anyone, there's one detail that you must take care of: Get your new job offer in writing. Why? Because an oral agreement can be withdrawn. Actually, a written agreement can be withdrawn too, but at least you'd have some tangible legal recourse. A written job offer also provides you with a document that defines the parameters of your new position, so that you can be absolutely sure that your new job will be an improvement on your old one. This can be very helpful later if you are asked to do things you don't believe you were initially hired to do. (Like shining your new boss's shoes. Thanks, but no thanks.)

A written job offer isn't necessary when you are making a life change, such as becoming a full-time parent or starting your own business. We suppose you could write yourself an agreement, but only if your therapist or spiritual advisor insists on it.