How to quit gracefully

How to quit gracefully

Apr 01, 2007

Louise Dunn
Q: I'm unhappy and I want to quit my job. How can I leave without burning bridges?

First, check your practice's policy manual to see whether your practice has an established policy, says Louise Dunn, owner of Snowgoose Veterinary Management Consulting in Greensboro, N.C. This should outline how much notice is required and how you'll notify supervisors that you're leaving. If your practice doesn't have a policy, it's a good idea to give them as much time as reasonably possible.

When you talk to your supervisor, focus on the job, not the people you work with, Dunn says. For example, you may decide to leave because you believe your manager favors a team member with better schedules and more interesting work. When your manager asks why you're leaving, keep your response positive. You might say, "I'm not a good match for this position right now because I believe this practice needs someone who's more flexible. I know you originally hired me for evenings and weekends, and my school schedule has switched. It's not fair for me to ask you to switch everyone else's schedule for me every semester."

Finally, regardless of how you feel about the job and the people you worked with, Dunn says it's important to follow up with a thank-you card when you leave. "Send a thank-you note to your supervisor and the practice owner thanking them for allowing you to be a part of their team and for all of the things you've learned," she says. "And show you're a professional even after you've left by practicing discretion and keeping the confidentiality of the pet owners and team members you worked with."