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How To Leave A Job Without Burning Bridges

oakstone international executive search how to leave a job without burning bridges

It is always wise to maintain a good relationship with former employees and business leaders – even long after leaving a company!

How do you leave a position without burning bridges?

1.       Tell your boss first

The worst thing you can do is tell all your colleagues you’re leaving, and the word gets back to your boss.  If there is one bridge you don’t want to burn it’s the one with your boss. Be honest and direct, and most importantly, have the common decency to tell your boss first.

2.       Give proper notice

Most roles will have a written notice time within the contract – although not seeing out your notice period is not against the law, honour the agreement of your contract.  Failing to provide proper notice before quitting could put managers and co-workers in a difficult situation and may leave them struggling to backfill the open position, while also covering the responsibilities associated with the job. 

3.       Offer to train others

There is nothing worse than an employee who says they’re leaving and then sits there through their notice period sat doing nothing – this will ultimately burn all your bridges.  Let managers, leaders and colleagues know you’re open to help – whether it’s finding or training your replacement or transferring your assignments, emails and projects.

4.       Continue to serve as a resource

If there isn’t a conflict of interest continue to help when you’re needed even after you’ve left! We’re not talking about going into the office everyday but there are bound to be questions about projects after you’ve left.  Be open to answering these questions to help the person who has replaced you. Show that you’re a reliable person and that you care that they continue to run smoothly.

5.       Stay in touch

Today, staying in touch with anyone is easier than ever before! Stay in touch with previous colleagues and managers – you may need a reference, referral or business lead in the future.  Also, nearly 15% of employees who leave a company end up returning as ‘boomerang rehires.’

Look at leaving like your final project!