Guide to Quitting Jobs in Australia - Respectfully and Strategically

You remember the scene in Wolf of Wall Street? Donnie (played by Jonah Hill), meets Jordan (of course Leo DiCaprio). After finding out Jordan was slaying it as a stockbroker, he gives the famous phone call that had the cinema in bits:“Hey Paulie, what's up? No, everything's fine. Hey listen, I quit!

Let's be clear: quitting a job is a big decision. Not exactly one of those 'big' life decisions, like buying a house or getting married but sometimes it can be big. Making the leap and jacking in your job, doesn’t have to be a mega stress. This article offers a decent bit of advice on how to handle your exit with grace and professionalism, all based on real-life experiences and a dash of good humour.

How to Quit Your Job

  • Plan AheadYou might have spent hours and hours on getting the job and then after a 10 minutes argument in the staff kitchen decided to quit - not the move, bro. Put together a detailed plan that includes your reasons for leaving, your next career move, and an emergency fund just in case the transition period stretches longer than anticipated.

  • Communicate

Whether leaving a toxic environment or for better pay, maintaining a respectful vibe with your employer is important - a direct, open conversation with your supervisor about your decision is best or if you’re not into the confrontation, a well-drafted resignation letter.

  • PositiveWhen you run through your reasons for leaving, focus on the positives of your experience at the company, even if that’s a tough ask and you're leaving under less-than-ideal vibes, it's important to preserve professional relationships.

Funny story - I have a friend who working in an office, where the relationship with the manager was, let’s say - tense. At her office there was an employee who, when quitting, brought in 'I Quit' cupcakes to her colleagues and left that day. Not advised, but hilarious.

How to Resign from a Job - with Respect

Resigning from a job is an art, which should show your respect. Here's how to do it right:

  • Face ItDon't rely on an email or a letter to deliver the news, try to line up a one-on-one conversation with your supervisor to discuss your decision. This way there's no room for mixed up communication and highlights your respect for the role and the organisation.

  • SupportOffer your assistance to train a replacement or to finish any ongoing projects. I remember a job that I left (no bad blood, I was going travelling abroad and the manager knew that) where I put together a 20 page PDF on “how to do my job” basically for the next person to keep by their desk in the early days. The manager was very touched by this thoughtfulness as it freed her up for a lot of distraction with basic questions, and who knew better than me? Your goal should be to make the transition as seamless as possible for the rest of your team.

  • Leave on Good TermsThe business world is smaller than you think, don’t put your feet on the desk and flip the bird at everyone during your notice period, participate actively in the handover and leave smiling, on a positive note.

How to Quit a Job - to Get a Raise

It’s a ballsy move and the idea of bluffing to quit your job to secure a raise might sound appealing or terrifying to you, it's a path to be gone down carefully. If done badly, this could backfire and burn your reputation and leave you without a job. But the rewards are tempting.We’ve seen a lot of variation, and it depends on how much the place needs you at the time, but usually the threat to quit results in a counteroffer from their employer, expect a range from a 10% to 20% increase on current salary.

A couple of things that’ll help you out, if you wanna go this way:

  • Have you exceeded targets or expectations? Brought value to the company? Your leverage lies in your contribution to the business.

  • Present proof of your achievements and explain how they justify a salary increase. This conversation should focus on noticing your work, rather than an ultimatum.

You might get the raise, you might get nothing, you might get fired/have to quit. Like Oasis said “You Gotta Roll With It”, follow through with your decision whatever happens. Making empty threats is silly.

If you want a bit of “f#ck this, I quit” inspiration, there’s a hilarious (but now slowly turning quite extreme) subreddit called: r/antiwork:It’s the internet so take it with a pinch of salt, but I recently read about an employee who threatened to quit unless he got a 30% pay increase. As it happened, the boss called him out, and he quit. But apparently he was harder to replace than the boss thought and he actually got rehired two months later at a 50% increased salary. Again, this is internet land, and it’s Reddit and it's an exceptional case, but there is an important lesson here, it shows the importance of knowing your worth.

In conclusion, resigning can be a very amicable and chill thing, or it can be painful and awkward, it depends on how you manage it and you should be mindful of your future reputation. So, before you make that move, make sure you’ve looked on Workclass to line up your next job, plan the timing of your exit, be clear with your manager when communicating and most importantly, never burn bridges. Remember, every ending is a new beginning. Enjoy the journey.

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