10 Fun Ways to Leave Your Job

by Paul Michael on 22 August 2013 2 comments

I've talked in the past about creative ways to get laid off. These tips were designed to help you reap the benefits of a layoff, if your situation demands it. (See also: How to Get Laid Off: A Step-By-Step Guide)

Now, whether you are leaving work on your own terms (be it quitting for a better job or just getting out of there), or you're being forced out, you can always make it an experience to remember.

Here are 10 fun ways to leave your job. Some will leave a lasting impression for all the right reasons. Others, well, you'll certainly make people sit up and take notice of your departure.

1. The Obvious One: Throw a Party!

If you have genuinely enjoyed working for your current employer and like the people, then why not leave on a high note? You can have a collection to raise money for your bash. It doesn't have to be held on the premises, and if there's alcohol involved, it may not even be an option. But getting everyone together for final goodbyes, sharing food and drink and memories, is a good way to leave for your new adventures without alienating those you are leaving behind. (See also: How to Throw a Fabulous (and Frugal!) Dinner Party)

2. Leave Memories of Yourself Everywhere

Fun memories; nothing nasty. It can be as simple as leaving a bowl of fortune cookies in the conference rooms, each filled with personalized notes from you. These are easy to make, or you can buy kits online. You could photocopy pictures of yourself with little quotes you used to say, and leave them in break rooms around the building. You could even take the time to leave everyone a personal post-it or email. Little things that endure long after you have left the building are great ways to leave with grace.

3. The Company-Wide Email: Get Creative

So, if you really want to reach everyone, use technology to your advantage. This can go down in several ways.

A Happy Ending

I've received emails that contained videos of people singing songs like "Heartbreak Hotel" and "A Little Less Conversation." At the end, the obvious message — "John Has Left The Building!" They always raised a smile. A little karaoke to end the relationship is always going to cause the right stir.

The Sarcastic Thank You

Thanks for all the unpaid overtime. Thanks for giving me three weeks of vacation…but never letting me take any. Thanks for the 30-minute lunches and weekend phone calls. You get the picture.

Sound Off

If you were, shall we say, less than enthusiastic about working for your current employer, and don't care about burning a few bridges, you can always send a completely honest, no-holds-barred email to everyone. You may want to be careful how much you reveal or rant, but it can be very cathartic for many.

4. Say It With Cake

This can be done with a smile or an evil grin. Pop into your local bakery and order a cake, but have the inscription say something a little more original. (See also: When Good Cakes Go Bad: A Cheat Sheet for the Uninspired)

Some examples:

  • "Congratulations…to me. I Quit!"
  • "Happy leaving day to me."
  • "How about a nice big slice of I'm Outta Here."
  • "See you guys later. Much later. I'm gone."

5. Hold a Special Meeting

Whether you work in an office, a department store, or even on a construction site, there's always a way to hold a meeting. So send out the invites, get people to congregate in one spot and await your announcement. What you do when you get them all there is up to you. Maybe you just don't turn up, but send a messenger with a note saying, "John has quit." Or you could leave a tape player with a note saying "Press play." However you do it, the impact will be quite memorable.

6. Break the Rules

If you're already on the way out or fully intend to hand in your notice that day, it may be time to start having fun with some of the company rules.

If they say you must wear a tie, wear it as a gag, or around your head. If the radio is only allowed to be played at a reasonable volume, crank it up to 11. If shorts aren't allowed, guess what, you're going surfing. Chances are, no one will really even notice all that much. But if they are sticklers for that, and have no sense of humor, maybe it's good that you're leaving anyway.

7. Tagline Some T-Shirts

This is cheap, fun, and really easy to do. All you need are some plain T-shirts (preferably light colors) and some thick markers. Now, think of your slogans, and create a different tee for every day of the week. Maybe the first one is "two weeks and counting." Another could be "Tick, tock, tick, tock." Final one is "Bye Bye" or "you've seen the back of me" written on the back. (See also: 15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts)

8. Reveal All About…Everything

Tread lightly if you plan on doing this. It will burn more than one bridge. But if you're intent on making a very memorable exit and settling a few scores, you can always turn whistleblower and uncover every dirty secret that was swept under the carpet. You can do this internally or externally. One famous example is the bookstore clerk who revealed absolutely everything about the store's practices before he left. The good, the bad, and a lot of the ugly. Customers appreciated it, and fellow coworkers smiled and nodded. The management…they weren't so happy!

9. Get a Tattoo

Really? Well, you don't have to get a real one; you could create one using permanent marker. It will wash off after a few days. Or you could be really brave (if a bit ridiculous) and get a real one. People have actually done this, with tattoos that ranged from "I Quit" to "Take this job and shove it!" Of course, you may want to keep this in a place that your new employer won't see, to avoid any confusion. So your forehead? That's not a great place to emblazon your resignation.

10. Go "Office Space" on Them

How so? Well, when Peter Gibbons started to be completely honest, turning up late, leaving early, dismantling his cube walls and gutting fish during the day, he was promoted! Maybe it will work for you, too. Hey, you're leaving anyway — what's the worst that can happen? Well…maybe that's not the best question to answer. But it will be a lot of fun to try out!

Do you have any stories about creative ways you left your job? Tell us all about them!

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Guest's picture

Really great post! I saw a guy on my twitter feed do this the other week. He was leaving to set up a cake making business so he baked a cake that he iced his resignation letter onto!

Guest's picture

Special warning: please don't burn bridges no matter how much you hate your company or co-workers. You never know where you may find yourself 5-10 years later. It's good to have some of those relationships intact.

I've had several friends leave and come back years later in a much higher position. If the y burned bridges, this would not have been possible.