People frequently ask me for advice on how to quit a job, maybe because I’m a writer. But it’s only as hard as you make it. It’s possible to quit a job graciously and not destroy references you might need someday. Here’s how to quit a fast food job.
Write a letter
It starts with a letter. It doesn’t have to be a complicated letter. When Richard Nixon quit his job as president of the United States, it was less than 140 characters. The body of the letter would have fit in a Tweet.
Yours needs to be slightly longer than that, because Richard Nixon wasn’t giving notice. You need to. And don’t resign over Twitter. You’ll need to do this in person. More on that in a minute.
How to write your resignation letter
There is nothing wrong with this resignation letter. Substitute the items in brackets as appropriate. You’ll also need to change the names and dates.
But other than that, you can just copy this and use it if you want. Keep it short and simple. The shorter and simpler you make it, the less likely you are to make a mistake that can come back and haunt you later.
June 1, 2017 Dear Mr. Brown: I have accepted a position at another company. I am resigning my position at [company]. My last day will be June 15, 2017. I wish you and [company] well in the future. Sincerely, [leave room for your signature] [your name]
And that’s it. In writing, you don’t owe anybody anything else. Many people put explanations and reminiscences in their resignation letters. That just makes it harder, and increases the risk of offending someone if they don’t think you really mean it. Just state what you are resigning from, your last day, and a simple wish-you-well.
Strictly speaking, you don’t have to say you accepted a position somewhere else, but it’s not a bad idea to have an official reason in writing. It doesn’t have to be specific. Stating something saves you from implying you quit your job to spend more time playing video games. And that’s how to quit a fast food job in writing. It’s all it takes.
Yes, give notice
Some companies want two weeks notice. Others do not. Always offer two weeks so you don’t put the company in a bind. That gives them time to at least start looking for a replacement, and doesn’t leave your employer and soon-to-be former team high and dry. That’s how to quit a fast food job without sabotaging your future career.
Your company may tell you they only want one week. In extreme cases they may say today is your last day. Before you resign, have a conversation with your new company. Ask if you might be able to start early if your current employer declines two weeks notice. In fast food, I’d say it’s unlikely, but it gives you cover in case you need it.
How to resign
Type our your letter. Print it, and put it in an envelope. Come in to work, find your supervisor, and ask to speak with him or her privately. Then hand your supervisor the letter.
Your supervisor will probably ask where you are going, and may ask why you are leaving. You can be honest, but be gracious. These things happen, especially in fast food. Managers pretty much expect it. Some people have long careers in fast food, but most don’t. I stayed in the same position at the same fast food restaurant for 2 1/2 years as a teenager, and that surprises people. Only about half a dozen of my teammates did the same thing. We lost count of how many people came and went in 30 months.
Above all else, be professional. People will ask you about it. Save the jokes for another time and place, even if you were unhappy there.
It’s increasingly rare for prospective employers to ask former employers if they would hire you again, but if anyone ever does, you want the answer to be yes.
One more thing
If you’re asking how to quit a fast food job, there might be two reasons for it. Maybe you have something lined up. Maybe you had a bad day. If you have something lined up, go through with it. Go onward and upward.
I had more than a few bad days where I wanted to quit. A couple of times I even had my letter written. That was more than 20 years ago so I can look back at it with some perspective.
It’s OK to be angry. But don’t do anything rash. Take a look at the help-wanted ads and see what else might be out there. Use the energy and motivation to find another job. Here’s some advice on jumping from fast food to retail. But get something lined up first. Other places are more likely to hire you if you have another job. And you can probably use the money.