How To Quit Your Job Like A Pro
Jobs can be like relationships, sometimes you’ve just got to get the f-ck out of it and move on to better and brighter things! That said; we here at The Creative Ham wanted to provide you with a few things to think about as you exit stage left. Here’s how to quit your job–the right way.
How To Quit Your Job
1. First and foremost, shed the Stockholm Syndrome.
Depending on how long you’ve worked there and which job this is for you out of school, you may feel that you owe your last agency something and therefore put them in front of yourself. This is mistake #1 in a 10 point game, so you’re already behind if you start thinking this way. I get it, they hired you even after you took “some” creative license with your resume, kept your bills paid, helped to boost your mileage status from silver to gold (United flyers know what I’m talking about) and covered all those late night meals. However, assuming you were a contributing member of the staff and that you were an all-star (giving you the benefit of the doubt here), you’ve paid your ticket fare in full. Keep this in mind as we move forward…
2. Leave for the right reasons.
I’m going to pause on this one, because it will be a future blog post of its own entitled “It’s time to quit your job” (editorial staff, take note), but make sure you know why you’re leaving, so that you don’t just end up jumping to a higher paying agency that’s going to put you right back into the same scenario. Money is a solid reason, don’t get me wrong here, but it’s not a solution to a shitty scenario, so stay focused on the situational reasons why you’re ending things as you make the transition to your next career bae.
3. Quit to the right person.
Remember in 5th grade when your buddy Brian told you that Kelly told him that your “girlfriend” Molly was now dating Peter, because Peter made her laugh at recess? That sucked. This is kind of like that. It’s embarrassing to find out that your staff is jumping ship by anyone other than the jumper, so do good by your boss (even if you kinda sorta hate them) and quit to the right person before you let the cat out of the bag agency-wide. It’s basic R-E-S-P-E-C-T, son.
4. Scrape your hard drive.
Some supervisors are distrusting, some will become vindictive to losing good talent and some just have corporate orders in place to lock down your machine once you’ve given your notice. Whether it’s materials for your portfolio or documents to help you manage your new team at your next job, make sure you get your things in order before you give your two weeks and save it to your own machine or hard drive. Yes it’s technically their property (besides that red stapler of yours), but it’s your work and your future, so don’t be stupid and leave the documents that were the result of your blood, sweat and tears because of your Stockholm Sydrome (see rule #1). To clarify, I’m not referring to corporate espionage here, but if you do go that route and do something really amazing with it, then give us the heads up and we’ll cover it in the Butchery.
5. Duplicate your address book.
When you broke up with your girlfriend last fall because she slept with your ex roommate with the lazy eye (yup, we know about that) did you also abandon every friendship you made during that era of unfulfilling monogamy? We didn’t think so. Same thought as rule #4 here, you put a ton of time into cultivating and maintaining those client and vendor relationships over the years, so sit down with a terrible Netflix movie, a sixer of something other than domestic light beer (we’re not savages, people) and literally go client email to client email for the last year to pull email addresses, phone numbers, business cards, etc. Yes, I know some of us have non-competes signed, but they typically expire in 6 months…don’t make me refer to rule #1 again.
6. Copy your bookmarks.
If you are digesting content like you should be– to remain relevant (have you seen our Butchery?)– then your bookmarks are key to your successes in your next job, as much as they were in your current role. Here’s the thing, just give your agency IT guy a Napa Cabernet from ’09 or an exotic fish for his saltwater tank (don’t act like you don’t get that joke) and ask him to duplicate your hard drive onto your new Mac and you should be fine. If he doesn’t, he is a corporate robot and you’re on your own, but the rule remains…don’t lose those the 250 URLs that make up the fodder for a majority of your conversation starters at agency dinner parties.
7. Put the match down.
This is really more of a recommendation for how you conduct yourself day in and day out, but I’ve had interns that have become clients, colleagues that have become vendors and have even seen employees who in 2 moves became their ex bosses’ boss, that said, don’t go all Scarface from Half Baked when you exit. We work in a small industry, so be cool fool and make sure you leave on a positive note, with all bridges in tact and preferably with the ability for future references from those above and below you.
8. Know when to exit the exit interview.
If it’s a good agency then your direct supervisors, HR and maybe even other Directors will want to ask you what’s up (again, we’re giving you the benefit of the doubt here that you don’t suck at your current job). Building off of the above rule, leave the petty emotional BS at home. Think big picture, what are the things that you can offer up to make the agency better for your friends who still work there? If you’ve left too late, then you may be resentful or bitter, but if you bring that to the table, nobody’s going to listen to what you have to say. Choose your points wisely and let them know what could have made you stay longer, what would have prevented burn out or things that you would have loved to have seen implemented were you coming to work tomorrow instead of leaving today.
9. Mic drop
Just because you’re checked out mentally, you still have a job to do. Too many people slack off and leave a bad taste in the mouth of their potential future references. True they’re not really your clients anymore, but that doesn’t mean you should handle them any differently. Whether it’s executing that last campaign or training your replacement to know the ropes, like George Costanza exiting after a good shrimp joke, go out on top. Leave clients, colleagues and that cute receptionist wanting more.
10. Find a new job!
Best of luck and we’ll see you at your next agency!