Everything You Need To Know About How To Quit Your Job Without Burning All Your Bridges



Mar. 18 2015, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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You’re ready to quit your job and change your career for the better. You’ve already made list upon list of the pros and cons of staying vs. leaving, and you know you are leaving. Perhaps you’ve already learned new skills, interviewed for a new job and you know exactly what’s next. Or, perhaps you’re leaving to freelance, start your own business, or embark on another beyond-the-desk-adventure!

Deciding to quit is certainly the hard part. Phew!

But, making sure you quit the right way deserves a bit of your brain power, too. How can you leave respectfully and without burning too many bridges? Should you give the scathing feedback your coworker deserves in the spirit of making the world better for the poor souls that come after you, or should you keep your mouth politely closed? Who should you write thank you notes to? What should your goodbye email say?

We decided to do a little research and curate the best of the web to answer these questions for you.

  • Dealing with fear: You know you’re ready to quit, but you are completely frozen with fear and anxiety about how to break the news to your company. Ask yourself these 4 questions to get past the fear of quitting and start moving towards the career you know you want.
  • Two Weeks’ Notice: If you work in a formal or corporate environment, you’re well aware of the unspoken rule that you should let your boss know two weeks before you plan to leave for good. (Note: if you’re transitioning into a freelance lifestyle, heading back to school, or can be flexible with your end date, it could be worth making life easier on everyone else to be flexible with your end date.) Learn absolutely everything you need to know about how to put in your two weeks’ notice.
  • Less Than Two Weeks’ Notice?: What if you don’t have the luxury of two weeks, and you need to quit immediately? Try this checklist to quit fast, without burning all your bridges.
  • Honesty: You like your boss… but you don’t necessarily like everything about her. Do you have to be completely open and honest if she asks you why you’re quitting? Read one HR manager’s take on this dilemma.
  • Exit Strategy: Once you’ve given your notice (if you have the time) what are you supposed to do in the next 10 work days? Try this daily plan to make the most of your network and document your work for the person who comes after you.
  • Never Say…: Your boss or HR team asked for an exit interview to capture your constructive feedback before you leave. Before you head into the meeting, read this list of 18 things to never sayin an exit interview.
  • Keep In Touch?: It’s your last day! And you want to make sure to email your coworkers to stay in touch. What to say? Check out theres 4 example farewell email scripts.

Alright, so you’ve got your questions answered, and you’ve got a plan for quitting. What should you watch out for?

  • Try not to quit on live TV (or, at least, try to avoid profanity if you do try this route?).
  • It’s probably not the best idea to make a dance video in your office late at night about why you hate your company. Although, it certainly would provide us a few laughs…
  • And, although going out with a bang might seem like fun, you’ve got some steep competition to make it onto the list of Best Resignation Letters of All Time. It might be best to quit while you’re on top…

Good luck!

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