Accountempts Monthly Newsletter – August

Quitting Your Payroll Job Without Harming Your Career


Most employees, at one stage or another in their career, have thought of quitting a job. Perhaps it’s to seek career advancement and a better salary, or to get away from a toxic boss. If and when that moment comes for you, it’s the manner in which you resign that matters. According to a Robert Half survey, 86 percent of human resources managers interviewed said the way an employee quits a job affects his or her future career prospects.


Word gets around. If you burn bridges at one company, it could sabotage your chances for a solid reference check. Here are examples, from the same OfficeTeam survey, of flamboyant ways some employees have chosen to resign:


  • “An employee baked a cake with her resignation letter written on top.”
  • “A marching band accompanied one guy in his announcement.”
  • “The worker threw a brick through the window with the words ‘I quit’ written on it.”
  • “One woman created a music video to explain she was leaving.”


Others simply left without a word, while a few had their parents or spouse deliver the news, or announced it on social media.


Even if you’re deeply frustrated at work, there’s no need for theatrics or vengeance when handing in your letter of resignation. Here’s how to quit with class:


  1. Time your exit

Proper business etiquette is to give your manager at least two weeks’ notice. Ten business days is an appropriate amount of time for your employer to manage the transition and possibly find a replacement.


  1. Write a formal resignation

While cakes and videos might make a splash, quitting does not require that much time and creativity. Give your boss and HR department a formal letter thanking them for the career opportunity, and mention your last day on the job. A few lines will do.


  1. Maintain productivity

This tip is key to maintaining your reputation. You may be on your way out, but there’s still work to be done. Wrap up the projects you can, and bring your payroll tasks to a point where you can hand them off to colleagues or your replacement. Make the transition as seamless and painless as possible.


There are many wrong ways to leave a job, but only one good way: by keeping it classy. Quitting with grace not only helps you preserve important professional relationships, but protects your future payroll career.


Accountemps, a Robert Half company, is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps has more than 340 locations worldwide. More resources, including online job search services and the Accountemps blog, can be found at