What to Do Before You Quit Your Job

Young woman clearing out her desk
••• hoozone / Getty Images

In many cases, as soon as you turn in your resignation, you're done. Some companies expect you to give two weeks notice, but others will want you out the door by the end of the day or even immediately. If it's immediately, you will be asked to box up your personal items, and you will be escorted to the door.

Therefore, before you submit your resignation to your boss, make sure you are prepared to leave. You don't want to give any indication that you're moving on, like taking your photos off your desk or pictures off the wall, but you can quietly clear out your desk and clean up your computer. That way, you'll be ready to leave if the boss says, "you're out of here" when you hand him or her your resignation.

Read below for information on what steps to take before you resign. By following these steps, you will not only be ready to leave, but you will hopefully avoid burning bridges with the company you are leaving. After all, you might need a recommendation or you might end up working with the company in the future. Do everything you can to leave on a good note.

Are You Covered?

Before you make that final decision to quit, make sure that you have a new job or another source of income. If you don’t have another job lined up, make sure you have enough money saved up to live comfortably for at least six months or so.

Also, check on health insurance coverage if you don't have another job lined up yet. You may be able to continue coverage via COBRA, but be sure before you resign. The government's Health Insurance Marketplace is another option. Here is more information on the difference between COBRA and the government’s Health Insurance Marketplace.

Clean up Your Computer

It is important to make sure that your personal information isn't left behind when you leave your job. That way, you won't have to worry about someone accessing your personal information in your absence. Below is a list of different items on your computer that you want to deal with before resigning:

Computer Documents: If you have personal documents, email a copy of each to your personal email address or save them online. Then, delete the files from your office computer.

Email: Do the same with personal email messages that you want to save. Forward them to a private email address and then delete them. If you have online accounts where you have used your business email address for the account login, change the accounts to your personal email address. Also, make sure you have the email addresses and phone numbers for people you want to stay in contact with. After you resign, send a goodbye letter to coworkers in which you can share your personal email address and phone number with them.

However, do not send a goodbye letter (or tell coworkers you are leaving) before you resign. If word gets to your boss that you are resigning, he or she will not be pleased to have heard it through the grapevine.

Software: If you downloaded software that is only relevant to you, not to the job, delete it. Delete any instant messaging programs you've downloaded as well.

Internet Browsers: Delete your browsing history, cookies, saved passwords, and saved forms from your web browsers. You’ll typically be able to do this by going to “Tools” on your internet browser. There is usually an option such as “Delete Browsing History” or “Clear Private Data.” Do this for every web browser you have used at work.

Clear out Your Office

Do you have years worth of old paper files in your office? Get rid of them. Only keep what's relevant and necessary for the person who will be doing your job next.

You'll want to get to the point where you can easily bring home what's left in a box or bag. Therefore, if you have a lot of personal items, bring them home a little at a time, or throw out what you don't need to keep.

Your goal is to be able to leave your job with a clean slate (and no personal/private information left behind) and at a moment's notice. If you take some time to get ready before you quit your job, you will be set for a smooth transition.