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Eight ways to quit a job without burning your bridges


When I quit my last job, I was so burnt out and tired of my employer that the last thing I wanted to do was to be civil or even professional.

Nonetheless, I wrote the proper resignation letter, and it felt like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders and the chains had been broken. I was free. {{more}}

It might be time to quit if you:

lFeel stuck in your job

lConstantly bicker with colleagues over meaningless issues and it affects your performance

lHave no room for advancement

lYour self-esteem plummets the minute you walk through the doors or when you see your colleagues

lYou are being offered a better job with more perks and it’s more in line with your goals

lYou foresee the industry changing and your position becoming obsolete

lYou are sapped of all your creative juices

Before you storm into your boss’ office and let him/her have it, think about what you really want and where you are headed then make sure you have a proper exit strategy.

What’s the right way to leave?

It is not acceptable or professional to just go in and say, “I quit,” and leave, never to return. Although you may feel the company deserves it, that could hurt you later on. The world is a small place and it pays to end these relationships on a positive note, as you may cross paths with some of the same people later on in life.

Keep these rules in mind as you prepare to leave your job.

1. Before you quit, make sure you explore your options within the company. Sometimes a simple conversation with your supervisor can open doors in a new department or on a new project. Don’t be hasty unless you are 100% sure you just need to get out.

2. Be upfront when possible. Tell your employer why you are leaving. You don’t need to give all the details but sometimes new jobs fall through before you even start and you don’t want to be left out in the cold.

3. Write a brief letter of resignation simply stating that you will be resigning from your position and give the date you plan to stop working. Don’t mention any problems or complaints. You don’t really have to give a reason for leaving!

4. Give your employer at least 2 weeks notice before you leave the job. If you hold a management position or higher give a month or more notice before leaving. Its not unusual for CEO’s to announce their intention to depart one year in advance.

5. Do not take company property with you when you leave, no matter how small. That is considered stealing. If you have a home office the company furnished, at least offer to return the equipment unless you are told to keep them. Resist the urge to have one last splurge on the company’s expense account

6. Continue to do a good job until your last day, and if asked, be willing to help the new person. Don’t be unprofessional, help train your replacement if you are asked to. Your refusal could burn bridges you may need later in life.

7. No matter why you are leaving, especially if it is under questionable circumstances, never bad mouth anyone in the company or spread gossip about your situation. It is best not to say anything at all. If you must speak then be selective about what you say, keep it neutral or highlight the good times.

8. Stay in touch. If you are parting under favorable conditions make sure you continue to nurture those relationships after you leave as many employees return to previous employers later in their careers.