8 Steps to Quit Your Job…Without Burning Bridges

Do you hate your job? Do you just want to get out? While you should not stay at a job you cannot stand if you don’t leave in the right way you could jeopardize your future.


Regardless of how much you dislike your job, coworkers, or manager, if you burn bridges when you leave a job you may find yourself in the fire down the road. Your performance history is a key part of any job application; what your previous managers say about you when contacted about your performance can help you get a future job, or destroy your chances.

In addition to simply being contacted about your time at a company, your employer could also provide a recommendation to help you gain a new job if you have left on a good note. A recommendation letter provides a shining endorsement of your ability and will help to set you apart from other applicants. When staying within the same field, if you left on a negative note your employer may ruin your reputation around the industry; this may cause potential employers to back away from considering you for a position.

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Leaving your job the right way will help you with potential new employers and will also keep your options open if you want to return to the same company you just left in the future. While a particular company may not be the right fit for you at the time, down the road they may fix the things you had problems with and it may become the right place for you. If you have burned your bridges behind you the employer is unlikely to consider you for a position again.

The benefits of leaving your position on a good note are evident, but how can you accomplish this? Here are some ways to make sure that you leave your job on good terms:

Provide Advanced Notice: Provide at least two weeks of advance notice when leaving a company. Make sure to check company policy to ensure that they do not require a longer notice period.

Keep quiet: Do not speak about quitting a job before you give your notice. There is almost nothing worse than an employer finding out that you are quitting soon from a third party. This could even cause the employer to find a reason to terminate you before you are ready to quit.

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Return all company property: Preferably, return the property before being asked. The company does not want to spend time trying to get their property back and you’ll save them a lot of trouble if you return it before they ask.

Emphasize the good: When an employer asks why you are leaving never speak poorly about the company, or suggest things to change. Always emphasize how the new position is a better fit for you.

Praise your employer: When leaving, make sure to express your gratitude to your employer for the position and the opportunity. Send a thank you letter to your employer – it will be a way for him or her to remember you in a positive light.

Make your last two weeks your best: Regardless of how long you have been with a company, often when an employer looks back on an employee they remember the last two weeks of employment. If you work exceptionally hard during that time you will stand out and your employer will be more likely to give a positive reference in the future.

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Tie up loose ends: When you are leaving a company – especially if you are in a position in which others depend on your work – make sure to complete as much as possible. Attempt to finish any projects or other tasks that you have started. If your replacement starts before you leave you can even offer to train them. The fewer headaches your departure causes the fonder your employer will remember you.

Write up a professional resignation letter: Your resignation letter is the last chance for you to make a good impression. Put as much work into this letter as you did into the application when applying for the position.

How you leave a job is just as important as how you applied for it in the first place. Departing from the company can be either an asset or a liability when applying for jobs in the future. If you go the extra mile when leaving a company it can do wonders for your career moving forwards.

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