How to leave your job (without burning bridges)

I Quit - Leave your job without burning bridges

Important: Wait until you have another job before leaving your current job if at all possible. Looking for another job can be tricky, do your homework and be smart to save yourself and the company a headache.


First, review your legal paperwork, HR employment agreement and any other documents that outline your requirements such as contract or non-compete terms. Sidenote- build up your LinkedIn profile and recommendations well before you are looking.


Once you decide to go on the job hunt it must be done 100% on your own time, off company property (you don’t want to be fired while you are looking). Use a personal email, cell phone, computer and your own time. Also, careful not to raise any red-flags that you are looking – ie change into your “normal” work clothes if you had been dressed up for an interview. I will never forget a co-worker of mine came in very well dressed in a full suit (out of character) It was obvious that she had been at an interview, especially when she came in late. It might be wise to use a vacation day to interview so you aren’t rushed. Be discreet in your job search, don’t tell your co-workers, even if they are your friends, it might backfire. Watch what you post on Facebook, your blog or LinkedIn.


When you do land a new job be professional and keep in mind “less is more” when submitting your resignation letter and telling your co-workers. You don’t want to be the one bragging about how you are leaving and going to a great new place while they are stuck behind. You never know when you might need a connection, don’t burn your bridges. Keep your files in order and perhaps even prepare a training binder to pass along. 2 weeks notice is customary, but don’t surprised if you are told that the day you resign is your last day. Good luck in your new adventure. Best advice- if you were the boss and your employee was leaving how would you want them to leave your company?

p.s. When I quit a previous job I felt so guilty because I felt like I did so much and my team would suffer without me. That may have been true in the short term, but the company moved on, just like I moved on to a new opportunity.

What are your tips for quitting a job gracefully / leaving your job without burning bridges?

Want more information – check out this post- Jobseeker’s Guide to Leaving Your Job.

Note: This is not legal advice, just some ideas to think about.
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About Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith is a resume writer and small business owner of Resume Butterfly, focused on transforming careers and resume makeovers. Before Resume Butterfly, Jessica was the Director of Career Services at a local college.
Follow her on Twitter @ResumeButterfly!