How To Quit Your Job Without Burning Any Bridges

We’ve all had that one, or several points in our lives where we’ve wanted nothing more than to march straight up to our boss, tell them what’s up, quit our job and storm out in a blaze of glory while a symphony of air horns and explosions unleash behind us.

People quit their jobs for a bunch of different reasons: some are good, some are bad, but there’s always one thing you can count on – it being awkward.

So you want to quit your job… for real this time. Well quitting is easy, but doing it in a way that still keeps you in the good books is a whole other story. Here’s how to say sayonara to your current workplace without pissing anyone off.

Tell your boss first

While office gossip is, well, pretty much unavoidable, it pays to be extremely careful when it comes to leaving your job. While it might feel almost impossible to refrain from spilling the tea with your office besties, we urge you to unplug the kettle, and put the mugs back in the cupboard, please.

It’s so important that your boss is the first point of contact when it comes to resigning. They won’t appreciate hearing the information second hand – it’s awkward and completely disrespectful. Oh, and do it in person. This isn’t a matter that should be handled over e-mail.

Give them the right amount of notice

How much notice you should give your boss before jumping ship completely depends on what kind of employment contract you’re on, and what industry you work in. If you’re ever unsure, the Fair Work Ombudsman website allows you to punch in your details and it’ll tell you know how much notice you’re required to give.

Not only is it common courtesy to give your employer the correct amount of notice, you’re contractually obligated to do so. If you don’t, your employer can withhold pay.

Be prepared for the conversation 

Before heading into any important conversation or meeting with your boss, it’s imperative to be prepared, especially when it’s something as sensitive and important as resigning. Be direct, to the point and don’t dance around the subject.

Jot down some notes prior of all of the most important stuff you need to cover in the meeting so you don’t forget. Most importantly, keep your cool. You’re not the first person to ever quit their job, and you certainly won’t be the last – you’ll be so fine.

Be transparent about your plans

When peacing out of your current job, your colleagues will want to know why. If it’s for personal reasons, often that’s enough of an explanation, if you’ve scored a new job, don’t be scared to tell people that.

The most important person to be transparent with is your boss, especially if your future work plans are unclear. A good reference can go a long way when it comes to applying for a new role, and if you’ve been at your job for a while, your future employer is more than likely going to want one.

Keep it positive and express gratitude

The stigma around resigning from your job being this big bad treacherous thing needs to be dropped. People leave jobs and start new ones all the time; you just need to keep the experience positive.

One way of keeping things positive is to express gratitude. Let your boss know that you’ve loved working for them, and that you’ll really miss everyone (even if you don’t mean it). Seriously, just leave on a good note. It’ll make the whole experience so much easier and your chance of copping a good reference will be way higher.

Quitting your job without burning any bridges may seem scary, but it’s not impossible. The most important thing is to be prepared.

(Lead Image: The Office)

Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.