How To Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges


The average worker today stays on a job for 4.6 years. You are likely to quit a job a couple of times in your professional career if you haven’t already. You will find that the processes involved in quitting a job is dogged with never-ending questions of professional courtesy.

Who should you tell first? How much notice should you give? And how honest should you be about your reasons for quitting?

Generally, people tend to spend a lot of time making remarkable first impressions, but rarely give much thought to last impressions. Quitting a job, like acquiring a job requires caution, sensitivity, and planning. Here is what to do when you decide to quit your job.

1. Offer a Smooth and Orderly Transition

You may be ecstatic about leaving your job but it is important to offer a smooth and orderly transition. You can do this by offering, your employer between two weeks and a month notice. The higher up you are in an organization, the longer it will take to extricate yourself and possibly train a prospective replacement.  It is important to note that the moment you notify co-workers about your intendment to leave, organizational cohesion and team-building may take on a different dynamic. It is likely you may be perceived as an outsider and not be invited to certain meetings. You don’t want to be hanging around too long. Between two weeks to one month notice is probably enough.

2. Inform Key People in The Organization

The first person you need to inform is your direct supervisor. The reason is simple. It is impolite for your supervisor to hear the news of your imminent departure from someone else. After deliberating on your intendment with your supervisor, you’re no longer in the driver’s seat. Any decision relating to the nature and timing of your departure is best left up to your supervisor.

Again, you must inform key people in the organization to keep the rumour mill at bay. It is also necessary to consider how your resignation is communicated to the entire organization, whether in a team meeting or in an email.

3. Be Transparent

You are under no legal obligation to reveal your next career move. You must consider how ever that in this hyper-connected world, your former employees will eventually know all about your new role and new company. It is useful to be straightforward and honest about your plans because that way you own the narrative. Your former employees and co-workers are a crucial part of your professional network. The more transparent you are, the more likely you are to preserve and build on the relationships you already have.

4. Be Strategic About Your Time

Regardless of your reasons for quitting, it is always useful to engender an orderly and positive transition. It must be your overriding objective to not leave your boss in a pickle. To that end, you need to collaborate by requesting directions and close supervision on how you ought to tie up loose ends.

5. Express gratitude

You may be ecstatic about leaving your job but you need to grow beyond that to portray an appreciative impression to your boss and co-workers. Modest farewell gifts or thoughtful notes to your direct supervisor, management, and co-workers leave a good impression. You may be dealing with a supervisor who is taking your departure personally and acting emotionally or accusing you of disloyalty, you need to just chalk it up to collateral damage and move on. It’s not productive to waste your time and energy trying to change their minds.

6. Beware of the exit interviews

You may be tempted to be brutally honest during your exit interview and offer up detailed information on everything that’s wrong with your company. The exit interview is not the time to give the feedback you wished you had given while you were a full-time employee. The reasons are simple. First, you’re not guaranteed anonymity; it’s a small world. Second, your feedback is not going to change the organization. If you like your job and had a wonderful relationship with your boss but got a better offer, feel free to talk about it, but don’t feel obliged.

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