How to Resign without Burning the Bridges

Workplace Success

Whether it is for a new position or you are moving to a new location, it is time for you to move on. As a result, you decided to quit from your current position. However, keep in mind that resigning is easy but resigning without burning any bridges is not. Therefore, in order not to burn any bridges and create future problems for yourself, you should be very careful about how you resign.

Below you can find tips about how to resign gracefully:

1) Give reasonable notice. Check out your employee contract to see if an appropriate notice time is stated. If not, then check out your employer’s policies to find out the proper notice time for different levels. Generally a two-weeks-notice is required by most employers. However, if you are working as a leader or working in a position which requires a very specific skill set, I recommend giving at least 4-5 weeks notice so your employer can have enough time to replace you with someone else.

2) Keep it to yourself until it is official. Maybe you have found a much better position than your current one. However, don’t blab about it immediately to everyone else in the company. First, set up a formal meeting with your manager and let him know. Be polite and thank him for everything you learned in your current position. Never say something bad about the company or your position. Then, discuss with your manager the best way to communicate your departure to the rest of your coworkers.

3) Set up how you will hand off your work. Your boss may ask you to train someone else and hand-off your work to him/her. As a professional, you should also try to finish as much of your projects as you can. Wrap up all of your work and for the ones that you cannot finish, make a to-do list. Forward your important emails and files to the person who will take off your work. If you are working with clients, you should also send them an email to introduce them with your replacement so the work can continue smoothly.

4) Ask for a reference. Ask if you can get a formal reference letter from your manager or at least a recommendation blurb on LinkedIn. You can ask your coworkers to endorse you on LinkedIn as well. However, it will be to your advantage if you have a written document in hand listing your credentials. You never know what will happen in the future so it is always good to have a positive document to give to the prospective employers.

5) Take the exit interview. Before the interview, make a list of the questions you may have about your benefits, insurance, remaining paycheck, etc. If you are moving to a new location, make sure the HR department has your new address so they can communicate with you. Also, don’t complain about the company or about your coworkers in the exit interview. Always leave a door open. Maybe you decide to come back to this company in the future, who knows.