In Japan, you can hire someone to quit for you

If you cannot summon the courage to meet with your boss face-to-face about your exit strategy, there’s now one Japanese startup that seeks to address this anxiety and resign on your behalf.

Quitting your job can be an awkward affair of having to tell your boss why you will not be around to finish projects, and why nothing they can offer would make you stay.

If you cannot summon the courage to meet with your boss face-to-face about your exit strategy, there’s now one Japanese startup that seeks to address this anxiety and resign on your behalf. Called Exit, the service submits resignation notices on behalf of employees, who for whatever reason, could not quit on their own.

“Quitting jobs can be a soul-crushing hassle. We’re here to provide a sense of relief by taking on that burden,” Toshiyuki Niino, co-founder of Senshi S LLC, the startup that operates Exit, told the Japan Times. Exit, which calls itself a “retirement agency” and has a logo of a person running out the door, charges $450 per resignation notice, and if you’re a repeat client, you get a $90 discount.

The appeal of getting someone to quit for you

Once you pay the fee, Exit will contact your employer and inform them about your plans to leave and relay other requests like how you plan to use your remaining time off. For more legal matters like severance packages, you’re on your own, because as co-founder Yuichiro Okazaki put it: “We’re strictly the messenger and won’t stick our nose into legal matters.” After Exit intervenes, the client and employer will often only communicate by email about loose ends like returning belongings.

This service may seem extreme. What’s so hard about mustering up the courage to tell your boss you’re leaving? But in Japan, a sudden exit goes against the tradition of staying loyal at one firm for your entire career. At its worse, this commitment can lead to karoshi, or death by overwork. When you are told you should be put your job above all else, you can be made to feel guilty for leaving. Co-founder Niino “endured one-hour meetings with five of his superiors asking him to stay” when he left Softbank, the Japan Times said.

But this commitment to one company is changing in Japan’s strong economy. As the Wall Street Journal reported in April, more employees are jumping ship for fewer hours and higher pay. As these shifts happen, services like Exit can ease the burden of those willing to make the uncertain leap away from a job.

Monica Torres|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at mtorres@theladders.com.