How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges

10 Ways to Put Others First as You Transition Out

Odds are that the job you currently hold will not be your last. Your passion may change. You may get a better offer. You may find yourself in a job that you do not particularly enjoy. At some point, most of us have left or will leave our place of work. During these moments of transition, you can easily, and often unintentionally, burn bridges with you soon-to-be former employer. Treating others as you would like to be treated is the key to a successful transition out of your old job. Here are ten ways to put others first during the transition:

  1. Tell your boss first. You want to control the message, not your coworkers. Telling your boss first not only demonstrates respect for their authority, but it ensures that he or she gets the correct reasons for your leaving. Be sure to have reasons.
  1. Do it in person. When giving your boss notice, do it in person. Present a resignation letter after you have spoken your supervisor. Please avoid email or, worse, text.
  1. Give ample notice. Most seem to think that two weeks is sufficient. Personally, I think that the amount of time is contingent on the level of position you are leaving. They are positively correlated. The higher you find yourself on the organizational chart, the more advance notice needs to be given. Abide by any company policy regarding a notice of resignation.
  1. Offer to train your replacement. Your employer may actually take you up on this. Offering to train your replacement demonstrates a concern for your employer during the transition. It is a very generous offer and will be seen as such.
  1. Be careful with your criticism. Your critique of the workplace can demoralize the other employers. Be an encourager.
  1. Limit conversation regarding your next job. You are rightfully excited about this new chapter of your life, but no one else is getting a new job. Temper your excitement in the workplace so that it does not come across as “I’m moving on to better things and you are not.”
  1. Do not draw attention to yourself. Yes, you will miss the relationships you developed with coworkers. But there is nothing worse than someone who goes around sobbing about it during the days and weeks leading up to their departure. You chose to leave, not them.
  1. Take home your stuff, not their stuff. Try to remember those items you purchased and those items the employer provided for your work. If you cannot recall what items are owned by the company, ask human resources. Do not let someone at your former workplace think that you took advantage of the company.
  1. Be grateful. You may not have enjoyed every aspect of the job, but it was a job. It supplied some source of income. It gave you work experience and provided a transition to your next occupation. You can find something for which to be thankful. Be appreciative for those things the job did provide.
  1. Finish well. Your work ethic will leave a lasting imprint on your former employer. Work hard until you leave. Finish as many open projects as possible, and provide statuses on those projects you are unable to complete.

What about you? When have you seen someone quit well, and when have you seen someone quit poorly? Tell us in the comment section below.

Three-and-Done: Why Ministry Leaders Quit and 3 Books That Can Help You Beat the Odds

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *