How to quit a job without burning the bridges

When you get to the moment of leaving your current job, whether because you’re already holding a new contract in your hands, or because you want to go in another direction, or you need to finish something unpleasant, leave a stable path behind yourself. It is crucial how you communicate that news. If you allow extended emotions to take over, anger could useless heat up the situation, and leave a bad taste in the team. 

The way you say goodbye to a page of your professional life illustrates your attitude toward the next one. Wisdom in communicating with a former employer is a sign of emotional intelligence and confidence in the business environment.

Here are some rules for effective communication when leaving:

  1. Keep the details short. Focus on the positive. Talk about what you have learned in the organization and what you have developed thanks to your team and manager. Even if you are overwhelmed with a bunch of negative emotions, leave them in the backyard. It is best to think in advance and identify the meaningful things you want to be heard by your supervisor. If you rely on more precise feedback and stick to honesty, involve in that diplomacy, respect, and issues comprehension. Tip: We recommend a common explanation. Be consistent in your story to avoid rumors or misinformation.
  2. Talk to your manager in person. Learning from others leaves a bad impression. Unless it’s completely impossible, give your manager the news face to face. Provide a chance for them to dissuade you or understand how you value their leadership. You can use sentences like “I wanted to inform you that I have accepted a position in another company and my last day will be (specific date)”. Or, “I have accepted an opening that will allow me to focus more on something new, and my last day in this organzation will be (a specific date).” Tip: Tell them how you plan to allocate your responsibilities. You can offer short training to the person who will replace you. Or leave brief instructions in writing.
  3. Be prepared for various options. You may announce your decision a month before your quitting date, but your boss could surprise you with an offer to leave immediately, by common approval. Or they may ask you to stay another two weeks so that they have enough time to find a replacement. Tip: If you do not have the opportunity, you don’t need to accept an extension request. These details are defined in your contract, so emphasise you want to hold up to the contractual conditions.
  4. Write a resignation letter. In this letter, specify what you have agreed with your manager. Send it to them and the Human Resources department. Include information on when is your last day in the company, and don’t forget to thank the entire team. Tip: If you have questions about compensation or unused benefits, be sure to include them in your email.

Focus on making your successor’s professional life as easy as possible. Give them guidance on the running projects. And what’s more, your manager will notice that. If anger or negative thoughts rise, recall that your supervisor’s assessment may open new doors and connect you to exciting future projects.

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