How to Quit a Job Over Text — Though We Don’t Recommend It

If you’re adamant about quitting this way, keep the message brief and professional.
Cara Smith
By Cara Smith 
Updated
Edited by Laura McMullen

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Spend a few minutes on social media, and you’ll find people sharing the brash resignation texts they sent their employers. But should you ever quit your job over text?

No matter the situation, experts say the answer is a resounding no.

“Never quit over text,” says Tamiera Harris, a life and career coach and founder of Black Career Coach in Philadelphia. “It’s just not professional.”

Why you shouldn’t quit a job over text

If you want to quit your job over text, there’s a decent chance you’re deeply dissatisfied with the role. But even if you hate your job and don’t care to maintain a relationship with your manager, there are plenty of reasons why you shouldn’t quit a job over text.

Quitting over text is highly unprofessional. Breaking the news over text will always be seen as disrespectful, even if you frequently communicate with your manager and coworkers via text, says Tina Marie St. Cyr, executive career coach and founder of Bonfire Coaching in Houston.

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If an extraordinary emergency prevents you from returning to work, call your manager or send an email. Even in an emergency, quitting over text should be an absolute last resort, Harris says. If you must communicate sensitive information in writing, opt for an email, not a text.

If at all possible, tell your manager face-to-face that you’re quitting. On a basic human level, it’s simply more courteous than quitting via email or text.

Any time an employee leaves a company, routines are disrupted. Quitting over text — a casual form of communication — could come off as flippant, given the disruption your departure may cause.

If you work remotely, schedule a video call with your manager.

You never know where your old boss will work next. It’s fine if you never want to work at the company or business again. That’s in your control. What you can’t control, though, is where your former boss will work after you’ve left. And if you quit disrespectfully, it might come back to haunt you.

Your boss may talk to other workers in your industry. Would the average manager have good things to say about an employee quitting over text? Probably not, and there’s nothing stopping your manager from telling peers and other leaders how you quit.

Regardless of whether your reasons for quitting are justified, you don’t want to be known for something widely regarded as unprofessional.

You lose out on a valuable experience. And even if you plan on leaving the industry, quitting over text robs you of the opportunity to practice quitting in-person. Quitting is uncomfortable and difficult — the more practice you have, the more professional you’ll be during any future resignations.

“It’s going to prepare you for any future job that you may take on, which will require that type of professionalism," Harris says.

How it feels when an employee quits over text

St. Cyr has had two employees quit over text. In one instance, the employee sent a brief text message saying they were quitting. The other time, the employee texed a lengthy resignation message. In both instances, the text was not well-received.

“I lost all trust in this person,” St. Cyr says of the employee who quit with a brief text. “I lost all want to make things work, because it was not face to face. It was not courageous. It felt cowardly.”

When you’re ready to quit your job, it’s best to schedule a meeting with your manager, St. Cyr says. If the situation has become so bad that you’re considering quitting over text, chances are, your resignation won't catch them off-guard.

“Call a meeting,” St. Cyr says. “The employer will go, ‘Oh, they’re probably going to quit,’ because you can feel it in the air. But, call a meeting.”

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If you’ve decided to quit over text

In spite of expert opinion, you may still be determined to quit over text.

If so, avoid any insults or name-calling. Focus on your personal reasons for quitting, whether it’s because the job doesn’t align with your career goals, you need better work-life balance or the role simply wasn’t a good fit, Harris says.

Keep things as polite and professional as possible.

“Exit gracefully,” Harris says.