How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges

The economy is mercifully on the upswing and that means more and more people are ditching placeholder jobs in order to move on to something more well-suited. Whether you’re leaving your current job for more pay, better Quit Your Jobhours, or simply because you can’t stand the sight of your boss there’s a right and a wrong way to do it.

Here’s how to quit your job without burning bridges because you never know when you might need the help of your old office…
DO: Tell your new job you need to leave with adequate notice.
DON’T: Let yourself get bullied into thinking you have to leave your current job in a matter of days.
The right way to quit starts with the acceptance of a new offer. It’s really tempting to jump on a desirable job offer even if that means you have to “start in 3 days” but…don’t. Your new company should and likely will respect you for wanting to leave in a professionally, timely manner and you’ll give yourself some time to give your notice the right way.
DO: Give your notice to the right people at the right time.
DON’T: Tell the people in the cubes next to you that you’re leaving before you tell your boss.
The very first person at your office to know you’re leaving should be your direct supervisor. After you’ve told them, ask how they’d like to proceed – should you contact their higher up to let them know and how do they want to tell the rest of the team? Time wise, give your employer at least two weeks notice regardless of the position. If possible, particularly in more difficult-to-fill positions, aim to give four to six weeks notice.
DO: Plan what you’re going to say before you out in your notice.
DON’T: Lie about what went wrong to avoid awkward conversations.
When you put in your notice and your boss isn’t expecting it they’ll likely inundate you with questions like, “Are you not happy here?” and “What if we paid you more?” If you’re determined to leave no matter what be sure you’re ready for these questions and answer in a professional, grateful manner. And don’t fib about why you’re leaving! There’s a difference in sugar-coating a bad situation and ignoring it altogether. Don’t badmouth the job, the company, or the team but be honest about the ways in which it doesn’t work for you just like you would if breaking up with a love interest.
DO: Pick an exact leave date and remind your boss a week out.
DON’T: Just pretend like you’re leaving and ignore the fact that you quitting will be disruptive.
Once you put in your notice your job becomes twofold. You need to first keep up all the work you’ve always been expected to do but then you also need to work to make the transition easy. Write down any passwords, processes, and location maps you think a new hire would want to know and ensure you’re not the only person who knows any one thing. About a week before you leave, check with your boss to make sure there’s nothing in particular he wants you to be doing to help him prepare.
DO: Write thank you letters/email to anyone you’d like to say thank you to.
DON’T: Feel like you have to email the whole company or take everyone to lunch.
If your office isn’t the touchy-feely type you don’t have to make a big announcement (and really, that’ll be up to your boss.) But, take some time to write emails to your supervisors and colleagues who’ve meant a lot to you and tell them so! It will be appreciated and set the stage for staying on good terms.
DO: Keep in touch!
DON’T: Expect people to go out of their way to contact you.
Unfortunately, when you leave the office you’ll likely feel distance from lots of people you’re used to seeing daily. You’ll have to work hard to maintain the friendships you’ve created and it’s always a good idea to send a liked supervisor an email or Christmas card every now and again to check in and say hi. While you shouldn’t make things awkward, if you left on good terms originally it won’t hurt to reach out from time to time.