How to quit a job during the ‘Great Resignation’ | Step-by-step guide

How to quit a job during the ‘Great Resignation’

/ 09:40 AM September 06, 2021

You were probably searching “how to quit a job” on the internet, weren’t you? You’re not alone, though, as millions around the world are causing the “Great Resignation.” Perhaps you and many others share similar reasons for quitting?

We’ll start by explaining why workers are ditching their current roles at record numbers. Then, we’ll go through the steps on how to quit a job properly. We also have a segment for business owners on how to retain their employees.

You may feel awkward trying to quit your job, especially during this pandemic. Believe it or not, this worldwide crisis has caused other unlikely events, such as the ongoing Great Resignation. We hope this article can guide you through quitting your job despite the ongoing uncertainty.

What’s the Great Resignation?

This is a store's "closed" sign.

If you look throughout history, disease outbreaks cause major changes. We know the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health problem. It changed behaviors and even toppled empires.

Knowing this, it’s not surprising that we see big changes during the current one. For example, it’s fueling the ”largest remote work experiment” in history.

The coronavirus lockdowns have also sparked the Great Resignation around the world. As the name suggests, it refers to the record number of people quitting their jobs.


Let’s take the United Kingdom as an example. In July, its job vacancies skyrocketed to an all-time high. Also, it’s happening right now in the United States.

The country reached a record 2.8% quit rate in April 2021. It made up a staggering 39% of the jobs lost to the pandemic. Most of these are coming from the hospitality and leisure sectors.


In March 2021, Alaska had the highest quit rate at 3.6%. Mississippi and Kentucky follow it with 3.4%. Meanwhile, New York state had the lowest quit rate at 1.6%.

Why are people quitting their jobs?

This is a person standing in a doorway.

Like most people, you probably want to quit because you hate your job. However, the pandemic made it easier for more people to make a choice. How did this happen?

  • Time to reflect – People have stayed in their homes for a long time. Without anything else to do, people had more time to think about themselves. Many people realized that their current work doesn’t align with their life goals. As a result, we now have more people asking how to quit their jobs, just like you.
  • Some prefer remote work – Believe it or not, some people appreciated their shift to remote work. They found that working from home gives them more time to spend on family and other things. Because of this, they would rather not go back to the office.
  • Easier to find new jobs – Did you know there are so many job openings right now? Some people saw this as their chance to get better work.
  • Burnout – Some people are simply exhausted after working their previous roles. After staying at home for several months, some realize that they’ve had enough. They would see how to quit their jobs and find better ones.
  • Career goals – We have more job openings, yet employers are struggling to attract applicants. Contrary to popular belief, the stimulus checks weren’t making Americans too lazy to work. Instead, it’s letting them pursue career goals in other roles.
  • Money goals – Some people realized that they need to earn more money. That’s why they’re out there looking for better-paying jobs. What’s more, it caused more millennials to start investing. Certain smartphone apps and social media make it much easier.

Read More: How To Maintain Mental Health During Quarantine

How to quit a job properly.

These are two people talking to each other.

Now you know that many people like you are quitting their jobs. It’s time to learn how to do it in real life. Don’t do a “mic drop” moment. Leave on good terms by doing it the proper way.

Instead, you should do it professionally. Follow the proper protocols at your work. Since this is on Inquirer USA, we will cover how to do it in the United States.

This may work differently depending on your country. You might have to follow steps, unlike those in the US. Check your local sources on how it should go. Here are the steps in general:

#1. Check your work agreement.

Read the agreement you signed before accepting the job. See the section regarding how the company handles resignations. For example, see how many weeks notice you need to give an employer.

You should check the other clauses too. The employer might have requirements on non-solicitation and company property. These include details like company email addresses.

This means you’re not allowed to share info about the company. You’re supposed to return their equipment either. Some may even require you to delete sensitive information.

#2. Schedule a meeting with your boss.

After understanding the terms and conditions, speak with your boss. If you’re in a large company, you might have to speak with the Human Resources (HR) department.

You should speak with them regarding your resignation plans. Make sure you get certain details from your exit interview. Here are some of these important pieces of info:

  • Your reason for leaving
  • How much time you’re giving for notice
  • What you should do to facilitate a smooth transition of your work
  • If needed, request a reference letter

#3. Submit a resignation letter.

After speaking with your boss, you’ll find it easier to write a resignation letter. At this point, you’ve agreed on the terms you’ll place in that message.

Make sure the letter is brief and straightforward. Include only a few sentences and paragraphs. Of course, maintain a polite tone in your letter.

Once you’re done, print it out. Submit the letter of resignation to your boss or hiring manager. Sometimes, you may send it via personal email.

#4. Complete your transition.

Now it’s time to follow through on your agreement with the employer. In other words, you should perform the tasks you should do in your final days. You should keep these things in mind too:

  • Depending on your company, you might not have to do anything for transition. Instead, you’ll be asked to leave immediately.
  • Explain your tasks to your team members. This will help them pick up where you left.
  • Organize your files and share them with your colleagues.
  • As we said, you should give back all company property.
  • Don’t leave any personal belongings.

How can companies retain employees?

These are people talking.

The Great Resignation isn’t so “great” for employers, though. Not all businesses can function with a limited workforce. Only a few can automate all their roles.

This doesn’t mean they’re powerless, though. If you have a company, you have several ways of retaining employees and attracting new ones. Here are some tips you can follow:

  • Support employee values – People work for others to serve their goals. If your business doesn’t align with those objectives, workers are likely to leave. Perhaps you should get to know your employees. Find out their goals to make sure your company helps workers achieve them.
  • Positive company culture – Find out if your company has a toxic work culture. Unfortunately, some companies had let go of their values when the pandemic struck. When workers saw this, many of them decided to leave.
  • Workplace conditions – People have become more conscious about their health. Your employees are likely to leave if the workplace doesn’t follow COVID-19 guidelines.

Final thoughts

Be sure about your resignation before you go through with it. Some call it “burning bridges” because there are no do-overs. Make sure you have a plan after leaving your job.

If you’re at a loss, perhaps a career coach can help you. These professionals can help you plan your long-term job goals. In turn, they could facilitate your job search.

You may check our recommendations for the best remote work options too. These could help you earn money while keeping you safe against coronavirus.

Learn more about how to quit a job

How do you politely quit a job?

First, read your work agreement, especially the parts regarding resignations. Then, schedule a meeting with your boss or your HR manager, depending on your company. Tell them all about why you’re planning to leave. Learn the steps you should take for a smooth transition and then follow them accordingly.

What do I say when quitting a job?

Make sure you’re polite when you request a resignation. As we said, read your company agreement and follow its rules for this issue. Set a meeting with them so you can speak with your boss personally. And then follow the steps you need to take to facilitate a smooth transition.

Is quitting a job bad?

It’s not just about how to quit a job. It’s also about why. Perhaps your workplace is not working out for you anymore for various reasons. Maybe the company has become toxic during the pandemic, or you simply need more money in these times. Be careful in planning your resignation.

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TAGS: how to, interesting topics, resignations, US joblessness
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