Leave Your Job Without Burning Bridges

Leave Your Job Without Burning Bridges

It is inevitable that you’ll be leaving your present job at some point, whether by your choice or your bosses, and it’s important to leave with relationships and contacts intact. Photo by Conner395.

Given the recent economic climate, it isn’t a surprise that some extremely frustrated employees are throwing out the traditional routines when it comes to quitting time. Burning bridges between your former company, managers, and fellow employees never benefits you, even if it feels good at the time to stomp out the door.

At MSNBC they’ve written up an article highlighting ways to make sure you keep important connections with your old place of employment. From the articl, excerpted from Sandra Naiman’s book “The High Achiever’s Secret Codebook: The Unwritten Rules for Success at Work”:

  • Give two weeks’ notice. Both your past and future employer will consider it a plus.
  • Explain that you are leaving because of growth opportunities with the new company, not due to dissatisfaction, even if it’s not true.
  • On your last day, write your boss and colleagues a thank you note via e-mail about how much you enjoyed working with them.
  • Offer to train your replacement, and if possible, be available after you leave to answer questions.
  • Make sure your work is caught up before you leave and write notes, when relevant, to guide and inform your replacement.
  • If you have external customers, collaborate with your boss on how to transition them to your replacement.
  • When telling customers you are leaving, say only good things about the company and your experience there.
  • Let them know you only want to leave the job, not the relationships you have built.

It can be tough to put on a chipper face when you’ve just been pink slipped, or to hold down the fort for those extra two weeks when you’ve found a better job, but if it means keeping professional contacts with your previous coworkers and employers it’s worth it. If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation recently and have some tips and tricks to share, sound off in the comments below.

Your Career: Take This Job and Shove It! [via Free Money Finance]


  • Probably depends on where you worked. I told my last employer that your all a mob of c**ts and I hate working with all of you.

    He asked would I finish my roster for the week at least and I replied “Which part of your all c**ts did you not understand? If i wanted to work with you I wouldn’t be quitting”

    5 years later I still feel fantastic that I told them where to go and they still ask me to come back and work for them.

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