How to Quit Like a Pro



First, I want to thank Doug Marrone, former Buffalo Bills coach, for giving me all the collateral I could possibly dream of for my blog on how to quit a job in the worst possible way.

How you leave an organization says as much about you as a professional as the work you do while you’re there. And believe me, you’ll be judged on your actions – judged by the people who matter most: the ones who hire you. Marrone’s story applies to every working professional out there, regardless of where you’re at in your career journey.



DON’T: Give your boss a few hours notice because it benefits you. And never leave a job wearing your emotions on your sleeve.

DO: Walk away and clear your head before making any rash decisions. If another employer is interested and needs you right away, don’t screw over your current employer. The company you’ll be working for is watching your every move, so be sure to give a full two weeks minimum – or more, depending on your position level.

DON’T: Lie to the people you work with and tell them you’re staying. They won’t be happy once they receive a group text that tells them otherwise the following day. Psych!

DO: Instead, once you’ve submitted a formal resignation letter to your boss, go speak with the people you’ve formed positive relationships with and be direct. It’s important to keep your colleagues happy for the sake of future references and networking power.

DON’T: Say anything negative about your past employer once you leave. You’d be amazing how quickly information gets back to them. In an incredibly social digital age, there are no secrets. In Doug’s case, twitter became his worst nightmare.

DO: Keep it professional – you never know if you’ll cross paths with your former employer or colleagues in the future.

DON’T: Put your employer in a bad position.

DO: Make sure that you offer any help as far as training, updating collateral, or offering your expertise to the interview team. I can’t tell you the amount of people I’ve encountered who were recruited for a past employer because of the positive way they carried themselves when leaving.

DON’T: make up an imaginary exit strategy. Don’t make the same mistake as Marrone, and leave a position only to settle for a made-up, oxymoronic job title that football experts have never heard of.

DO: Cover all your bases and that your prospects for a new role look good. Only accept positions that enhance your background rather than just change company logos on your paycheck. Employers are closely scrutinizing the motivation behind every move a candidate has made in his or her past in order to determine if it makes sense. If it doesn’t, employers assume that if a candidate can’t make good decisions on his own behalf then surely he won’t be able to make an impact within their organizations.

DON’T: Satisfy short-term needs and fail to see the big picture.

DO: Ask yourself this: can this new offer fulfill my long-term career goals, both mentally and monetarily?

At the end of the day, I believe my hometown and beloved Bills will benefit from this leadership transition. Good riddance Doug Marrone! And thanks again for the lesson on bad personal and professional branding.

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