How to Quit Your Job

Quitting a job can be very difficult, for you and for your employer. If you want to leave on good terms; give them enough advance notice.

Be professional in your resignation letter and it will make the transition easier for everyone.

Leave on Good Terms (If Possible)

If you are leaving your job for a better job, to go back to school, because you are moving, or because your work situation is too stressful, it is to your advantage to leave on good terms.

Leaving on good terms allows you to:

  • Ask for a reference in the future
  • Return to this employer in the future, if there are positions available
  • Maintain a good professional reputation

You might have had a bad experience on the job, but you may want to leave in a way that shows that you are a responsible and reliable person. You can do this by following the formal and informal procedures for how to quit your job, and being professional until the day you leave. You may also choose to fulfill any work-related obligations and resolve any work-related problems before leaving.

Give Reasonable Notice

It is customary to give two weeks notice that you will be leaving your job. However, the requirement is generally “reasonable notice” and this could mean more than two weeks depending on your position in an organization, and the terms of your contract.

When you inform your employer that you are resigning, you may:

  • Want to negotiate the amount of notice with your employer
  • Be asked to leave immediately but will be paid for the notice period. It is a good idea to make sure your personal effects are collected and your work area is organized before you give notice, in case this happens.

Write a Formal Letter of Resignation

You will need to prepare a letter stating your plan to leave your job and the date you will be leaving. You do not have to give your reason for leaving, but you may want to do so if it is for family, education or other reasons that will be easily understood and accepted. If you set a positive tone and thank your employer, you are more likely to count on a good reference from them in the future.

Here is a sample resignation letter you can use:

Your address
Manager's Title
The Company Name
The Company Address

Dear (Name of Manager),

I would like to inform you that as of (date you want to leave by), I plan to leave (name of company) to (reason for leaving, e.g., return to college for further studies).

Thank you for the opportunities I have had working with this company.

Sincerely yours,
(Your name)

Present Your Formal Letter

Your manager should be the first person to know that you are leaving (not your coworkers). After preparing the letter, request a short meeting to tell your manager about your plan to resign and leave the letter with them. You may also want to discuss any issues such as overtime, paid leave or benefits that are owed to you.

You may also want to email your resignation letter to your employer or Human Resources department. Keep a copy for your records, in case of any dispute.

This article is by Geneviève Beaupré and Susan Qadeer.

For More Information

  • Sample Resignation Letters - This website includes a few sample resignation letters that you can use. From
  • Your Rights As a Worker - This fact sheet has information about your rights as a worker, and what you can do if you think those rights have been violated. This resource is from CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario).
  • Employment Insurance and Voluntary Leaving - Find out the impact on your employment insurance benefits if you voluntarily leave (quit) your job. This resource is from Service Canada.
Last updated: November 15, 2016 4001660