How to quit a job right in Canada

August 28, 2018

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

Nine tips for quitting a job that no longer serves you
Sometimes we outgrow our jobs. We see a potential future somewhere else, in a career for which we have prepared carefully through studies and experience. Or maybe our current job has become routine, boring and unfulfilling. Or it may clash with our values or current needs, or the environment has become toxic. Other times, we leave because we found a better option or because we plan to start our own business.

The reasons may be varied, but whatever they are, when you are ready to leave, leave always with dignity — you never know when you will cross paths again with the people or institution you are now leaving behind.

Here are nine tips to do it right.

Leave at the right time
Unless you are in a rush, have a job offer in your pocket or are truly burned out, take time to leave at the right moment. Do you have savings? Do you have a plan? Does the organization need you for a project? Also, check the company’s policy for resignations; depending on how long you have worked and the company’s guidelines, you may need to give a few days (or a few weeks) of advance notice, to ease the transition, find and train new staff. Some companies, however, may ask you to leave right after they accept your letter.

Understand your rights and where you stand financially
Leaving a job does not allow you to claim EI. If you have asked for advanced vacation, sick leave or are paying a company’s loan, you may need to repay or have this discounted from your last wage.

Understand seniority and benefits
If you are moving from one employer to another, your benefits and seniority rights may be affected and may not be negotiable. New jobs may require anything from three to 12 months for you to be eligible for benefits and some companies (particularly if they are unionized) may not transfer your seniority, which means that you’ll start from zero, even if you have many years of experience in a similar job.

Talk to your supervisor in person
Ask for a brief meeting and plan in advance. It is not a good idea to resign via email or phone, unless special circumstances don’t allow you to be present.

Write a simple letter
Your resignation letter is not the place to write about grievances or to be grateful to co-workers. You can talk about grievances (if it is really necessary) with HR and you can personally thank co-workers.

Stay positive
You don’t have to give a reason for leaving and it is not a good idea to create trouble or enemies. You never know when and if you’ll see your boss or colleagues again, so don’t close doors behind you.

Don’t take anything that doesn’t belong to you
Emails, files, contact information, even ideas, processes or products you created while working there may be subject to copyright and ownership, so review the company’s policies before you take anything with you that you think belongs to you. Don’t create unnecessary problems for yourself and keep your dignity up.

Thank co-workers and supervisors and take time to say goodbye
A well-crafted email, a card, a letter or an in-person visit may allow you to share your gratitude for the skills, experiences and moments you enjoyed and will leave good memories in all. Even if you are not leaving on good terms, there may be people you still want to thank.

Work ethically and professionally until the last day
There’s no reason to diminish the quality of your work. Remember: your last days in the job may be the ones that leave the more lasting impression of who you are. Make it count!

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