How To Leave A Job (Without Burning A Bridge)

Man says goodbye to his coworkers as he leaves his job

Before you start your new job, you have to take care of business at your current one. Depending on your relationship with your employer, this can be a difficult conversation. But, it doesn't have to be.

Here's how you can leave your job without burning any bridges:

Before You Quit, Think About Your Colleagues (Especially Your Boss)

We all would like to have a good relationship with our boss. That's not always the reality, though.

Sometimes, we just have bad managers (which can sometimes explain the job change). But that doesn't mean you can give them anything less than two weeks' notice. Not only is it the polite thing to do but it might also be part of the company policy. And, even if you had a bad boss, maybe you loved your team and co-workers, so you should also consider them when deciding how much notice you give your employer.

For those who've been fortunate to have a respectful and trusting relationship with their boss, two weeks' notice probably isn't enough. It's important that you maintain that foundation of trust and respect even when you're leaving the job.

Unless your new job needs you to start in two weeks, it's probably best to let your boss know you're leaving a month in advance. If you have to start in two weeks, clearly explain your situation to your boss—and make sure you apologize for the short notice.

If You Decide To Quit, Break The News To Your Boss Like This...

Serious woman tells her boss she's leaving her job


Honesty is the best policy when you're breaking the news to your boss that you found another job. Walk them through your thought process to reduce the amount of misunderstandings. Have a good, open conversation. Communication is key here, like in so many other aspects of your professional and personal life.

Frame your conversation like a story to help your boss understand the situation. Talk about your career goals and how your next job is giving you an opportunity you can't pass up. If they're a good manager, they'll respect your decision without giving you any grief or uncomfortably trying to persuade you to stay.

When You Leave A Job, Don't Forget To Say This...

Man thanks his boss after quitting his job during a meeting


One of the most powerful forces in the universe is gratitude. Use it to your advantage when you're having this tough conversation with your boss. Communicate your appreciation for your boss's leadership and support. Make sure you say the words "thank you."

Also, communicate your appreciation for your colleagues. Remember, these people are a part of your professional network. Your kind words might reach the ear of the person you're complimenting, and they'll remember how you made them feel. When leaving, it's a good idea to be kinder than necessary.

And, most of all, thank your boss for the opportunity to work there! Without your boss, you wouldn't be where you are now.

Remember: Quitting The RIGHT Way Is Very Important For Your Career

Woman quits her job the right way and shakes hands with her boss before she leaves


If you don't really care how you leave your current job, it's important to realize that it's a very small world. Your actions at your current job could impact your job opportunities down the road. Word travels fast in an industry. You never know who your boss knows.

Don't go out with a bang unless you want your quitting story to be told in other places of employment—where you may one day apply for a job. Brand or be branded!

When an employee leaves, it's a big transition for everyone involved. If you had a good experience working for your current employer, despite any difficulties with a boss or co-worker, it's in your best interest to do whatever you can to make the transition as smooth as possible.

And if you decide to go out with a bang, make it a positive one.

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This article was originally published at an earlier date.