How to quit your job without burning a bridge

By Korrin Welch on January, 11 2021

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Korrin Welch

Korrin Welch is an experienced writer with a degree in media and communications and a background in writing for online publications and magazines. Originally from Chicago, she moved to Fort Worth in 2019, after working as a flight attendant for 3 years. From her years of travel and writing, she brings a fresh perspective to KP Staffing.

You’ve just received a job offer from a company you’ve been dying to work for. While exciting, it suddenly occurs to you that the next step is to resign from your current position. The feeling of accomplishment over landing a new opportunity quickly transforms into anxiety and utter dread.

As millions of what-ifs occupy your brain, the main questions clouding your judgment are where do I begin or how do I quit while remaining professional?

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We often focus on getting hired instead of highlighting how to transition from one career to the next, but this information is arguably just as crucial. Below are key points to help you quit your job without rocking the boat or ruining professional relationships.


Be transparent with your boss 

It would be reasonable to say that quitting a job is extremely uncomfortable - even so, you must communicate your next move.2021 (3)

While it might be tempting to avoid having the dreaded conversation, sharing your plan to exit a position is not only commendable but necessary for future references.

Be honest and remain levelheaded - the goal is to make your transition seamless and an overall positive experience for everyone involved.

In doing so, avoid sharing the news with coworkers before discussing it with your superior. Office gossip will only make an already awkward situation tenser and create a hostile work environment for the remaining days you have left. 

Put your resignation in writing

After speaking with your boss, the next step is to properly resign in the form of an email or written letter. Placing your intention to leave in writing sets the action in stone, demonstrates your respect for your company, and allows your employer to take further steps and actions.  

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A resignation letter should consist of the date you plan on leaving, a sincere mention of the gratitude for your time with the company, and a detailed understanding of what your next steps will be.

As you construct your letter, try to avoid speaking negatively about your supervisors or the company itself. Instead, focus on how the job benefited you and your personal growth as a result of your time there. Your formal resignation is your last impression, so make it a positive one – you never know if you might want to work for that company again in the future.

Be strategic about the timing

The greatest mistake you can make while quitting a job is either resigning too early or revealing the news last minute. While it’s vital to ensure that your next job opportunity is properly aligned, it’s also necessary to give your employer a heads up.

If anything, providing a two weeks’ notice gives the company a chance to hire someone else or simply evaluate how to go about moving on without you.

Time permitting, you will be able to cut ties in a manner that is beneficial for both you and your employer.

Go out strong

Before anything, be absolutely positive you want to quit. Consider your options before having “the talk” because once you relay your intention to leave, there’s no turning back. It’s critical to move accordingly and with intent – take charge of your exit plan!

you-x-ventures-Ti7LQ0r-zy4-unsplashTransitioning to another job doesn’t have to be egregious or difficult, it simply takes proper preparation and strategic planning. Before quitting, tie up any loose ends and bust out last-minute projects to allow your boss to formulate a game plan themselves.

Maybe even go so far as to express your willingness to train the employee taking your position, giving your employer options demonstrates your ability to cater to their needs without compromising on yours.

Your exit is essentially a reflection on you and could potentially be a highlighted detail in a future job reference.  

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The key to leaving without burning bridges is to remain positive, even in a less than ideal situation. You spent valuable time forging relationships while gaining work experience in the process, so use what you’ve learned to elevate yourself into your next opportunity.

Gone are the days of quitting on the spot and losing potential references, we’ve entered an era of accountability and unapologetically evolving.


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We love to hear from our readers! If you have any personal tips or stories you’d like to share about your experience quitting a job, please comment below!

Here at KP, we are actively researching ways to be a valuable resource to job seekers and employers alike. Your feedback is appreciated and beyond necessary for our continual growth!

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