Upgrade: This was the No. 1 most-Googled career question of 2018

We’re working on quitting our jobs.

The most-Googled jobs question of 2018 was “how to quit a job,” according to new data from Google Trends. That was followed by “what job should I have.”

Those searches dovetail with government data, which revealed that at one point during 2018, the job quitting rate hit its highest level since 2001. And it’s still relatively high (at 2.3%, according to the latest government data, with roughly 3.4 million people ditching their positions.)

One big reason so many people are quitting is that many employees can easily snag another gig, as hiring is strong, government data reveals. Many of us are leaving for higher pay and the chance at a better office environment: Data released in 2018 by staffing firm Randstad revealed that 82% of workers say they expect pay raises every year to stay with their current employers, and 60% have left or want to leave because of a direct supervisor.

Most-Googled questions in the US on jobs in 2018

1. How to quit a job

2. What job should I have?

3. What is the highest paying job?

4. How to decline a job offer

5. How to get a job

6. How to find a job

7. How to accept a job offer

8. What job is right for me?

9. What to wear to a job interview

10. How to get a job fast

Whatever the reasons, we’re at least pondering leaving our jobs. Of course, before you jump ship, consider whether you’re really ready to go. Ask yourself whether what you’re leaving your new job for is closer to your career goals. “Money is a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor,” says career coach Hallie Crawford. To the best of your ability, you should also look at how much fulfillment and enjoyment you’ll get out of your current and potential new gig, as well as how much each might utilize your skills and abilities and how good their benefits are, she adds.

Ready to leave? Career experts share their tips on ditching your job in the savviest possible way

Give enough notice, says Call to Career founder Cheryl Palmer, who advises two weeks notice for most employees, more for senior level people.

Don’t blab about quitting until you’ve told management, says career strategist Carlota Zimmerman. And if and when you do talk about it to others at work, don’t brag about your new job or company, she adds.

Ask for a private, in-person meeting with your boss in order to resign, if possible. If that’s not possible (like when your manager is remote), send an email or leave a voicemail that you have a time-sensitive issue to discuss. Then have the conversation via phone or video, says Niteesha Gupte, a career coach at career coaching firm Ama La Vida.

Be positive. “Thank them for all the opportunities and life lessons, and make it clear that you simply got a chance that you couldn’t turn down,” says career strategist Carlota Zimmerman, who notes that you might say something like this: “I’ve truly enjoyed the amazing experience of working at [company name], but I’ve just received an exceptional opportunity at another firm that I believe aligns more closely with my long-term goals. Therefore, I’d like to submit my two week notice effective immediately. I’d be grateful for the chance to discuss with you, which of my outstanding projects I should be focusing on, and which I should hand off to my replacement,’” she says.

And “when talking to your boss about leaving, you might be tempted to complain or vent about the things that made you want to leave your job, but don’t,” says Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist at FlexJobs.com. Remember that even if you didn’t love your job, you may cross paths with your boss and coworkers in the future so stay professional and don’t complain.

Thank your employer and let know how they helped you, says Gupte. “Explain to them what you have learned and how it has set you up for future success,” she says. “Perhaps send personalized notes to the managers and colleagues who have made an impact on you and your career growth.”

Be respectful when providing feedback on your experience, says Gupte. “If you get the sense that the company may not be open to feedback, use your discretion in your communications,” she says, adding that “in most organizations, they will appreciate your feedback and suggestions for improvement.”

Create a smooth transition — and be willing to train your replacement, says Palmer. That means you should “document any ongoing projects that you’ve been working on, what’s left to do, who needs to be involved, and any supporting resources” as well as outlining “any critical day-to-day activities or shortcuts you’ve learned so that you can help make the onboarding process for the next employee more efficient,” says Gupte. Adds Reynolds ”offer to create training materials or to train your replacement, if you can.” Finally, finish as much work as possible, so you aren’t leaving too many loose ends for people, says Zimmerman.

Stay on good terms with ex-coworkers and bosses, says Palmer. “You never know when you may need them again. For one thing, you may need to come back to the company again, and if this is the case, it will be a smoother transition if you have maintained good relationships even after your departure. Another issue is that in many fields people are very interconnected, so if you leave a position on bad terms, people in other organizations in your same field may hear about it,” she explains.

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