How To Quit A Job Without Burning Bridges

How To Quit A Job Without Burning Bridges

Have you found one and you're not sure how to quit? Find out how to part ways professionally without burning any bridges along the way.

Whether you’ve come to dread those Monday morning commutes or you’ve found an opportunity that serves you and your family better; everyone goes through the process of leaving their jobs at one point or another. However, there are a lot of people who are eager to show it to the man on their last day, and they don’t realize that this can bite them back later.

If you’re not looking to waste all of the years and experience that you’ve gained from the company you’re leaving, it’s best to do it as professionally as possible even if you hate the job you’re looking to move. We’ll take a look at how to quit a job without burning bridges with your managers and why it’s important to be so professional when you do it.

Stay Humble

man learning how to quit a job

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It’s never easy to do this first one, especially when you know that you nailed that next job with the (hopefully) better pay and the better benefits. As far as you’re concerned, the rest of your team is in the past, and you could start feeling more than confident about your skills. Don’t use this new job as an excuse to treat others that you’ve worked with as lesser people, though.

Instead, once you know you’re quitting, you should take this opportunity to be as helpful as possible so that your managers and other teammates have good things to remember you. It may not seem worth the extra struggle at first, but it will pay off in the end when you’re looking for additional references later on down the road.

Take the time to remember that a lot of what the job you’re leaving offered for you while you worked there. You gained valuable experience, professional references for your resume, and likely you obtained a few friends out of your work circle. At the very least, you have a consistent work history that new employers will like to see when you apply for your next position.

Not to mention, you never know what the future holds. This new venture may not pan out, and you would likely have to rely on your old company to provide a positive word if not a temporary position until something better comes along.

Try To Tell Your Boss In Person


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It's always better to give your boss a right and professional heads up that you're going to be leaving the jobs soon. When you go to do so, make sure that you are taking on a very neutral approach and don't let hard feelings get in the way of staying professional.

At this point, it's a good idea to discuss any details that would benefit you before you go, such as unpaid vacation time or unpaid sick leave that you could collect as well as rolling over your retirement plan if you already have one in place.

Unless asked directly for constructive criticism, don't mention anything about what you feel could improve in the company. This motion could be seen as a hostile move and would leave a bad taste in your manager's mouth which could get you into trouble later.

Instead, if prompted as to what inspired your change of position, merely say positive things like how you're finding a job that better matches your goals as an example.

This step is probably one of the most stressful parts about quitting professionally, especially if your boss has a reputation for being a hothead or is not known to take employees very seriously. Unfortunately, the best that you can do is to remain as professional as possible in the hopes that your reputation is in good standing when you leave.

Be Open With Your Plans


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You don't have to give out a five-year plan as to what you are going to do after you leave your job, and not precisely required by many company standpoints.

However, it's reasonable to assume that your coworkers and your peers are going to be curious about where you're going to go, and being forthright with your plans as far as your next position is concerned is an excellent way to establish trust.

When you go to explain what it is that you plan on doing after your current job, remember to stay humble and to tell everyone the same story. Your manager should be the first person who knows about your intention to leave as well, especially when you don't want them to hear about it from somebody else before you get around to telling them.

But be careful about telling your manager that you're planning on leaving too early, this has negative repercussions because while you feel that you are doing them a service by providing a longer span of time to find in train someone, sometimes this backfires on you and you will start to feel excluded and treated like an outsider.

Not only will this make you not want to continue your employment with that company, but this also makes your work environment very miserable to be a part.

Always Write A Letter Of Resignation

writing a resignation letter

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Part of the professionalism that comes from leaving a job comes from crafting an excellently written out letter of resignation. You don’t have to work at a big company or be apart of a large firm to take advantage of this tactic, and it will prove useful for you later on if something were to happen and you needed to rely on that company again for financial or professional support.

Creating a letter of resignation isn’t difficult, even if you’ve never written one before. Websites online that have beautiful professional samples to go through are just a google search away, and you could also copy one word for word and tweak details as needed to make the letter fit your scenario.

There are essential elements that make a letter of resignation professional. These elements include:

  • A friendly but professional introduction
  • A clear intention of resignation
  • Proper notice
  • Offer help during the transition
  • Give thanks for the experiences you had there
  • End with a kind note

You can fashion your resignation letter in any way that you feel fit the best for your situation, however, make sure to incorporate these elements when you do, and you can be confident that you'll have a resignation letter that looks professional and will keep you in good graces with your management team.

Just about every company out there requires at least a two-week notice when it comes to resignation, especially if you want to be able to use them as a reference on your resume. It's important to understand and adhere to the company policies regarding the resignation and follow them to the best of your ability.

There are incidences where you cannot give two weeks notice due to factors in your life that you can't control. If that's the case, make sure that your management and your boss is fully aware of the situation as to why you have to leave on such short notice and make sure you express how hard the decision was to make the sudden leap.

Be Flexible

using a phone and laptop

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Even though it's tempting to be excited about leaving your old job for a new job, it's best to be as flexible with your scheduling as possible while your managers and your coworkers are making the transition for your departure. Give your managers a reasonable time frame in which they can expect you to resign, but offer an extended deadline should they need your help.

Doing this has multiple benefits. The first one is to show that you are a reliable person, and it's a good way for your managers to have a good opinion of you before you leave. The second reason is, so that good opinion shines through when you ask for a letter of recommendation or if you use them as a reference for a later position.

While two weeks is a common and widely accepted time frame, sometimes giving up to a month's notice is ideal, so your company has time to recover by training a new employee to take your place. Remember you want to make sure that you leave a good impression, so making it is easy for your old employer as possible will ensure that.

Don't Blast Your Old Employer On Social Media

scrolling through social media

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Honestly, this should be common sense however it seems like many people make this mistake over and over again. The result usually does not work in their favor, and not only do they lose a reference and all credibility, but your new employer may also see this and determine that you are not a good fit for their company.

Overall despite how tempted, you may be or even justified, it's best to keep your comments to yourself or at least to a close circle of friends that you can trust to move on.

In Conclusion

Quitting your old job no matter how frustrated you are with it can be a stressful experience but regardless of how you feel it's always best to remain professional because it benefits your future and it allows you to keep all of your Avenues open.

Following these core steps is a surefire way that you'll be able to leave your job with all of your Bridges intact and give you valuable experience remaining professional even in stressful situations.

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