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“I’m in a job I loathe and I feel trapped and I want to leave but I don’t know how to get out without it damaging my career and I need a reference.” No worries, we’ve pulled in recruitment expert, Andy File, to show you how to leave a job you hate gracefully while still getting that important reference.

In August 2010, JetBlue flight attendent, Steven Slater, swore at a customer and proclaimed, “I’ve been in this business 20 years. And that’s it, I’m done.” He then proceeded to grab a beer and slide down the airplane’s emergency chute.

It’s difficult not to admire his epic exit. Yet, in the real world unfortunately these types of cavalier actions have consequences.
The police arrested Slater shortly after.

If you’re thinking, “I despise my job,” but want to get out of your current job without quite as much drama, here’s what you need to do:


leave a job you hate 

Searching For Another Job


As a safety net, many employees don’t want to notify their boss they’re leaving until they’ve secured another job. If you want to leave a job you hate, ensure you keep all interviews outside of work hours so it doesn’t conflict with your current job.

Also, d
on’t put any current employer reference details on your resume. Simply write, ‘References available on request.’

leave a job you hate
Reasons For Leaving


Diplomacy is paramount when giving reasons as to why you want to leave a job you hate. “I wake up every morning in a cold sweat,” isn’t going to go down well with your CEO.

t’s best to be honest but not to be negative about your current employer. 

Constructive feedback given in the right way is fine as this may help the employer. However, be tactful and don’t cite these as the sole reasons for leaving.

‘A fresh challenge,’ ‘more money,’ ‘something 
closer to home’ and ‘more development opportunities’ are common reasons given and, if true, shouldn’t cause offense. ‘I despise my job,’ is only going to burn bridges.

leave a job you hateHow To Leave On Good Terms

You may dream of running out the door, hopping on a plane and getting a job in paradise.

However, if you want to 
leave a job you hate then leaving on good terms and getting a solid reference is crucial.

I suggest handing in your resignation letter for a job you don’t like in writing and in person if possible. 

Unfortunately, t
here’s never a good time to hand in your notice but generally a Friday morning is best as it gives everyone some thinking time over the weekend.

When giving your notice don’t go into reasons why you’re leaving if they’re solely negative and be sure to thank your employer for the opportunity. 

If possible make sure you work your notice period as it’s best to leave on good terms and it’s the right thing to do both contractually and morally.

Important tip:

Quitting a job without another job is risky. First you need to find work you love.

In the meantime, do your best during your notice and keep a positive attitude in order to quit a job gracefully. 
You could offer an extended period of notice to help train others in your role if you don’t yet have a role to go into.

leave a job you hate
Definite No No’s


Don’t ever leave without notice. Especially if your employer has treated you fairly. If you leave a job you hate without notice this will not only put your employer in an incredibly difficult situation but also your co-workers — the very coworkers who may have treated you well.


Don’t be negative on social media. Many employers check social media and your current employer could seek legal action dependent on what you post.


Don’t be disrespectful in your notice period. Make life easier for yourself and others. Biting your tongue is a revered art form in the professional world and can save you a lot of drama.


Don’t be negative in your notice period. At least for the benefit of everyone else.


Don’t stir it up with colleagues. Keep your reasons professional at all times. If you’re seeking refuge in another workplace, there’s no need to create a war zone in your current one.


Gentleman, let’s help each other out. If you have any stories of epic job exits, whether they be good or bad moves, let us know in the comment section. 


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