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How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges

The time has come. Maybe it’s because of a health reason, a better opportunity, or a lack of growth, but the job you’re at is no longer the one for you. How you quit a job is almost as important as how you enter a new one. Though you may want to go out in a dramatic way, resist the urge and choose a better tactic. Here’s how to quit with dignity.

Be Absolutely Sure

Before you officially quit, make sure that’s what you want to do. Consider the pros and cons of both your job and the one you’re applying for. You don’t want to quit your present job in haste and find yourself regretting it. Avoid that awkward phone call asking for your job back by making absolutely sure that you want to quit in the first place

Get Ready

If you work with a company computer or use a company email, make sure to clear out any personal items. Don’t leave personal emails or documents behind. The same with your desk. Get it somewhat cleared out before you resign. Sometimes your boss will ask you to leave that day rather than taking the two weeks’ notice. If you think that might be the case for you, take the precaution of being ready for that. If you are required to stay for two more weeks, you’ll need to do this anyway.

Write a Resignation Letter

This is the formal and polite way of letting your boss know that you’re leaving. It also provides a record for how you left. It’s very important that you write a polite letter—even if you’ve had it with your job—because that’s something a potential boss can look back on. You don’t want a poor resignation letter following you around for the rest of your career. There are plenty of sample letters out there to look at, so take advantage of the knowledge of those who’ve gone before you.

Be Considerate

Make sure to give an appropriate amount of head’s up. The requirement is generally two weeks. Another good way to promote good will and show consideration is by offering to train your replacement. This will help your boss and will add to your experience. Do your best to make the transition process as painless as possible for both you and your employer.

Don’t Forget the Details

If you have company property of any kind, make a mental note of that so that you can return it. You don’t want to be accused of theft because it slipped your mind as you were leaving. Additionally, be aware that you may have to participate in an exit interview. This gives the company feedback as to how they can improve. Take advantage of this as another opportunity to leave on a good note. Also be aware of any package or paperwork that is involved in your leaving.

Be Thankful

No matter how much you didn’t like your job, there is something you can express your gratitude over. Don’t lie or make something up, but be willing to give credit where credit is due. Don’t miss this last opportunity to keep good relations with your company. You never know when you may need a reference further down the road, or when an interested employer may get in contact with your former boss.

Though it may be difficult, resist the temptation to leave your job in (a briefly) emotionally satisfying way. Just being in a new workplace will have to be enough, because you’ll never know what bridges you may need in the future.


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