How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges?

by Pranav Ramesh
May 28, 2021
How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges?

The process of job hunting is exciting. You land an interview with your dream company, ace the interview, and your excitement skyrockets with every stage. However, once you have the offer letter on hand, reality strikes, and you realize that you need to face the hard truth and go through the process of quitting your current job. In a survey of over 2,000 employees, it was found that around 43 percent of them were looking for an alternative job. So, do not worry, you are not the only one trying to quit your job.

Your resignation is not going to be the end of the world or worth beating yourself over. However, it is important that you do it right and how you tell your boss that you are quitting. So, how do you quit a job without burning your bridges? Is there a right way to do it? The problem could be all the more alarming if you recently took up this job as it might be hard to decide how to quit a job you just started.

Should You Quit a Job Over an Email?

Given the pandemic situation and with a lot of people working from home, this could seem like one of the acceptable ways to do it. However, it is almost always better to have a conversation with your employer in person or over a call before you send out a formal resignation. Never quit over an email or a text message as it could impact your career significantly.

Inform Your Manager About Your Resignation

The excitement of the new job must have disappeared the minute it dawned on you that you need to resign from your current job. But to quit a job the right way without burning bridges? Start by informing your boss or immediate supervisor that you plan on resigning.

Ensure the first person to know about your intentions to leave the job is your boss and not some team member or work friend. Besides being a common courtesy, it would also ensure that your supervisor doesn’t feel slighted. This might even force the supervisor to give you a bad reference in the future. So, have a conversation on why you are leaving, leave the unpleasant details out. Talk about your joining date in the new organization, your last day in the current role, and offer to help with the transition.

Submit An Official Resignation

After your conversation with your reporting manager send out a formal resignation email. Mention that you had discussed the same in person, your late day, and your willingness to help with the transition process. It would help if you mention your reason to leave as well in the resignation letter, however, make sure it is to the point and professional.

Serve The Notice Period

Serving the notice period is not a very pleasant experience. However, to make sure you leave things on a good note and to make the life of your successor, customers, and team members easy, it would help if you served your notice period. Most companies have a standard two weeks’ notice. Discuss this with your employer while you talk about your resignation and agree upon a date.

Have a backup plan ready if your employer is not willing to relieve you on your planned date. Most managers do not take the resignation of a team member in the right spirit, and you might even be asked to leave instantly. So, have a backup plan ready, keep your data and belongings accessible so that you can leave the workplace as soon as you are asked to leave.

Plan For Transition

Inform your customers and colleagues about your resignation and start documenting your day-to-day tasks. This will help the person who takes your role to adjust with ease. Do not leave too many pending tasks. Prepare a clear set of instructions on going about things and day-to-day tasks. If possible, offer to help recruit or train your replacement before you leave.

The Exit Interview – Don’t Let Your Rage Takeover

The temptation to roast your boss and say every word you resisted from saying is natural. However, it would be best if you remembered that the way you quit your job would be the way your manager and colleagues will remember you. It would impact impacting your reference checks and career prospects besides ruining your relationship with your manager. Resist the urge to call your boss out and say everything you held back until now. Remember that you will quit in two weeks, and talking about things that upset or hurt you is not going to change the past. It would only make your stay in the company an uncomfortable one and leave a bad impression. All the hard work and effort you put in over the years will be easily forgotten.

In short, do not let your emotions get the better of you. Even if you want to quit a job with an abusive boss do not mention it or make it a part of your conversation with the manager, team members, or the HR team. While it might seem like a cathartic experience to get back at your abusive boss, remember that all this information will go into your permanent record. And every time you move to a new job, these files would surface during the background verification and might impact your future career prospects. Just tell yourself that you are resigning because of a better opportunity, and now is not the time to burn bridges.

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