Quit Your Job

How To Quit An Internship Early On Good Terms

When it comes time to take new steps in your career, there is something to be said for diplomacy. Knowing how to quit an internship early definitely falls into this category. Leaving an internship early is never easy. Sometimes, the person may need to pursue a better opportunity and it can be hard to break the news. Others may decide that they have found the full-time job that they desire and want to leave immediately.

At the end of the day, you cannot put your personal goals on hold because you’re too afraid to hurt someone’s feelings. If your work is worth more than what you are being paid for it or you are having conflicts with coworkers or management, these are always valid reasons to leave.

So how can you quit an internship and still end up on good terms? By taking the following steps, of course! Let’s take a closer look at what you can do to avoid any future unpleasantness

Honesty Is The Best Policy

As far as matters that involve your career are concerned, there is never a good reason to lie. Taking the time to be honest with the manager of your internship is a great way to avoid an acrimonious exit.

It is important that you provide the necessary transparency so that there is no confusion later on. If you are telling the internship manager one thing and your co-workers another? This is something that is tougher to come back from.

You should also be sharing what your expectations were upon arrival and the ways in which the company in question fell short. This is the type of feedback that will allow management to amend their process and create a better environment for future internship candidates. Think of it as a way to pay things forward and keep the ball rolling in a positive direction.

Read More: How Many Internships Should I Do? Everything You Need to Know

Remain Gracious

Gratitude is always a key aspect of moving within the corporate world. In fact, some experts will recommend writing a thank you letter if you have decided to move on. Failing that, you should still be sitting down with your manager to express your gratitude in a face-to-face setting. It is time to let them know more about what you have learned and how these lessons will benefit you going forward.

The more you are willing to share, the more likely you are to be able to maintain a good relationship with your supervisors in the future. The same goes for your relationship with your colleagues. What specific responsibilities did you perform? What skills did you learn? How did the internship aid you in your professional development?

The answers to these questions should inform the conversations that you have. If there are certain aspects about your manager that you found admirable, this is the perfect venue to share them. Managers are sure to appreciate this and just may feel compelled to offer you valuable advice that will help you on your next step.

Receiving a Letter of Recommendation

Moving onto a new job opportunity can be a nerve-wracking experience but those who obtain a letter of recommendation are giving themselves a serious leg up on the competition.

If you feel as though you have done exemplary work during the current internship, it never hurts to have a letter that proves it to your next employer.

After all, it is not like they are going to merely take your word for it. A brief summary that provides a closer look at your job duties and speaks to your work ethic will help immensely. Plus, it allows you to verify the job qualifications aspect of your resume, which will also help when it comes time to speak with hiring managers at your next place of employment.

Read More: How To Quit A Job Without Notice Professionally

Keep Your Manager In The Loop

No internship manager wants to feel as if they are being blindsided. That’s why you need to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to keep them in the loop.

There’s no reason to resign by e-mail and this will send a terrible message to all parties involved. In fact, it is always best to schedule an in-person meeting.

Give them a two-week notice, as a way of showing the level of respect that you have for the company. Discuss what your responsibilities will be over the course of this two-week period. This is how you part on good terms.

You can also provide them with a formal resignation letter. Circling back to the previous point about gratitude, this is the perfect time to reiterate what you have already told the internship manager in person. Here are dos and don’ts when putting in resignation that you should check out.

Don’t Let Your Work Ethic Slip Away

It can be tough to keep working hard when you already have one foot out the door. However, you need to maintain the same work ethic that you have had for the duration of the internship.

Few things will lead to a terrible exit more quickly than a refusal to keep working hard. This shows a serious lack of respect for the manager and more importantly, the other staffers who are going to be picking up the slack.

This is an easy way to make sure that you do not get a reference or a letter of recommendation, either. Remain focused on your responsibilities and be willing to handle anything that your internship manager happens to throw your way.

Maintaining a positive attitude goes a long way in these types of scenarios. No one is going to offer a solid recommendation to you if you’re lazing about the workplace all day and acting smug about your impending departure.

Transition Preparation

This is the final step and arguably one of the most important of all. The transition process will differ depending on the person.

Some may be leaving to pursue other opportunities and you will need to plan for the next job that you are taking on if this is the case. Meanwhile, there are others who may be leaving to further their education.

Regardless of which path you are taking, you will need to evaluate your financial situation first.

There are others who may have to speak with their manager if their internship was a requirement for their secondary education. In these instances, you will also need to speak to your academic advisor to make sure that you have done everything that you need to remain prepared.

Why you are leaving the internship? How does the next opportunity align with your personal values and your skillset? These are questions that need to be answered before proceeding.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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