A software developers guide to quitting your job

The time will come to quit your job - make sure you do it right.

Quitting a job can be a delicate time, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about it. However, it can be an opportunity to strengthen relationships with your employer, by providing feedback and helping them to understand your reasoning to leave.

Why is “quitting right” important?

  • You need good references – You’ll need this for your new job, or future jobs to come! Remember this.
  • Retain your network and relationships – Your network is important and as you move company, this is a great opportunity to grow your network, however it won’t grow if you drop a hand grenade in your old work before you go!
  • Know why you’re doing it – When you find a new job, they’ll want to know why you quit, so you better be prepared with a solid answer and “I don’t know” really isn’t going to cut – you’re going to need to be clear on why you quit and what it is you want.

When I moved into London I started my career with a very early stage start-up.

In fact, they were that small, the interview was at a hotel – since they hadn’t yet got a fixed location.

The danger (and fun!) with very early companies is that they change quickly.

Within a short amount of time, the business grew it’s basic offering and was transitioning in a position to scale. The vision of scale and direction of the business quickly morphed and it no longer fitted what I thought was important to my career.

The time came to make the decision and I made the decision to leave.

These situations can be difficult – you don’t want to say the wrong thing, or give the wrong impression, but this is easier said than done.

3 steps to ensure a clean break

  • Don’t blame anyone – Some things might not work out like you imagined and if it’s time to move on, you’ve got to prevent yourself from wanting to blame someone or something for how it didn’t work out. See your time for what it was and acknowledge that it’s a stepping stone on your journey.
  • Be grateful – This is not just to thank your employer for the time, but every job has been an opportunity to grow. Take the time to share your positive outcomes from working for the company and share these with your boss and your colleagues. As with all feedback you give, make sure it’s candid.
  • Write out your thoughts – In a high pressure environment, it’s easy to get your thoughts in a knot and you don’t want to say something you regret. It’s a good idea if you are thinking of breaking the news to sit down and write out exactly what you want to say.

Question: What are some of the things you’ve done to ensure a positive experience when you’ve had to quit a job?

— Let me know in the comments

Lou is a Front End Software Developer who currently lives and works in London. A voracious reader with an insatiable inquisition.

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