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5 tips to quit your job without burning bridges

By Emilly Parris | 15 June 2020


Resigning from a job is rarely ever easy, even if it’s something that’s been on your mind for a while.

If you’re in an industry where you’ll likely be crossing paths with people you’ve previously worked with, you want to make sure there are no serious repercussions associated with your departure.

If you’re concerned about how your boss and colleagues will perceive you once you announce your resignation, here are five tips to help you resign while still maintaining your professional connections. 

1. Avoid the element of surprise.

Once you make the decision to leave, giving ample notice is recommended especially if you’re a senior team member or a long-time employee. Ideally, you’ll want to set up a meeting with your manager and tell them in person first. This way, they will have time to process your resignation and it will not come as too much of a shock.

It may be tempting to discuss your plans with your closest work friends, but this could backfire if news of your leaving comes out before you’ve had a chance to tell your supervisor. After all, it’s not a good look if your boss finds out you’re leaving from someone else before they’ve heard it from you.

2. Consider providing a formal letter of resignation.

resignation letter

It might seem a little out-dated, but a letter of resignation is a professional courtesy that acts as a way to document your notice period.

It’s also a chance to formally thank your employer for the opportunity to be part of their team and to wish them the best for the future. Your resignation letter can come in the form of an email or a sealed letter, just make sure it is dated correctly to ensure you are paid for the duration of your employment. Not all employers will request a letter of resignation, but it’s something to keep in mind.

3. Keep your emotions in check.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your resignation, you may be experiencing a number of conflicting emotions. Whether you’re angry, hurt or frustrated—if you want to leave on a positive note and avoid burning bridges, it’s important to keep things in perspective. 

Resist the urge to rage quit, even if it feels like the only option. If you start to feel things unravel, take a walk, call a friend (or your mum) to vent and give yourself the chance to express how you’re feeling.

4. Express your gratitude.

handshake

Though it may be difficult, especially if you’re not leaving on the best of terms, expressing gratitude can leave a positive impression on those around you. A simple; “thank you for having me as part of your team, I’ve learned many things while I’ve been here, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work at this company”—is all it takes. This is just one way to show that there are no hard feelings.

5. Help ensure a smooth transition.

The best thing you can do before you leave a job is to make sure your departure goes as smoothly as possible. You can lessen the burden on your team by doing everything you can to ensure an orderly transition.

If you can, offer to stay until a replacement is found so you can train them on-the-job. Keep your work well-documented and organised so that your replacement can easily access what they need. This will not only make it easier for that particular person but your team as well, and it will reflect positively on you. All in all, let your boss and your team know that you are available to support them before you leave.

Remember, nothing lasts forever, nor should it. These are just some ways you can ensure you exit graciously and maintain the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build.

Are you quitting your job?

Now could be a good time to upgrade your skills for your future employer. Upskilled offers a range of flexible online courses in Australia’s top industries that can help expand your career options. Chat to one of their education consultants today to find out how upskilling can help you find the career of your dreams.
 
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