What to Do Before You Quit Your Job
After you turn in your resignation, some companies will expect you to provide and work your two weeks' notice, while other companies will want you out the door by the end of the day or even immediately. In that case, you may—or may not—not be paid for the duration of the notice period.
In many cases, as soon as you turn in your resignation, you're done—your employer will ask you to hand over your work ID or badge and box up your personal items, and you will then be escorted to the door.
What to Do Before You Resign
Before you submit your resignation to your boss, it's important to make sure you are prepared to leave. While you don't want to give any indication that you're moving on, like removing your photos from your desk or pictures from the wall, you can still discreetly 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.
Are You Covered?
Before you make that final decision to quit, make sure that you have a new job or another source of income lined up. If you don't, make sure you have enough money saved to live comfortably for at least six months or so.
Also, check on your health insurance coverage if you don't yet have another job lined up. You may be able to continue coverage via COBRA, but be sure to check this out 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
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 should 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 of the 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, if you wish.
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 messaging programs or apps 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 single 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 (with no personal/private information left behind) and at a moment's notice.
If you take some time to prepare before you quit your job, you will be all set for a smooth transition.
Leave on a Positive Note
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 again in the future. Do everything you can to leave on a positive note.
You May Have to Leave Immediately. While you may be asked to work out your two weeks' notice, there is a chance you'll need to leave the building and hand in your ID immediately after quitting.
Clear Up. Before handing in your resignation, make sure your physical and digital space is clean, including your email, browser, and so on.
Be Polite. Even if you're surprised that your manager wants you to depart immediately, continue to behave professionally.
HR Daily Advisor. "Employee Gives Two Weeks’ Notice: Do We Have to Pay?" Accessed Jan. 30, 2020.
U.S. Department of Labor. "Termination." Accessed Jan. 30, 2020.