How To: Put in Your Notice without Burning Bridges

If you have a rough experience in your workplace, it’s easy to have the desire to jump ship, perhaps in the most dramatic way possible. Before you charge out the front doors of your office in a brilliant blaze, consider the aftermath of an impulsive and emotional decision such as that. Maybe you aren’t even thinking about causing a scene, but you need to get out fast. No matter how you choreograph your exit, make sure your strategy includes a way to leave a good impression on your boss. Why does it matter, and how can you do that? Please read our latest blog to learn more.

Prevent hurting your future career by strategizing how to approach the situation and who you tell. It is also essential to think about how long your notice should be and how you plan to express the reasons for quitting.

Approaching the Situation

If you want to leave your position due to emotional grievances, take a few days before you act, so you can cool down and avoid making tensions worse. As stated in the last post, networking is essential in a professional environment, which is why you want to approach quitting with gratitude and professionalism. There are two vital things to remember after giving the resignation notice. Write a resignation letter that displays your intelligence. Feel free to use this resource from to write a professional letter. Second, prepare to resign by researching things like what benefits you should receive and compensation due. The also provides a checklist to use for preparation to leave.

You do not want management letting another company in the administrative sector know that you left without helping the transition go smoothly. Be strategic when giving your time to the Executive before leaving. Make sure he or she is not left in a bind because this will affect the entire company. As for your team, express gratitude for the few or many professionals you enjoyed working alongside. Remember to be thankful for the experience the Executive gave you.

Who You Inform

First and foremost, your boss is the person who needs to know about your resignation before anyone else. Unfortunately, many work environments are toxic and riddled with gossip. Avoid one of your team members or even someone below your pay grade informing the Executive before you do. For the same reasons, even though you are not legally obligated to tell your coworkers about resigning, letting everyone know will avoid your professional network falling apart. Why? Daniel Gulati, the coauthor of Passion & Purpose, a collection of stories from future leaders who have recently graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School, once said, “Colleagues may be trying to read you and understand why you’re leaving.” You do not want to be the topic of a salacious rumor your next coworkers or Executive may come across in the future.

Make Your Notice Long Enough and Short Enough

We all know the standard practice for putting in a resignation is to give a two weeks’ notice. Giving less than two weeks will tarnish your reputation and probably prevent you from receiving an excellent reference letter. If you are under a union agreement or an employment contract, make sure to check this documentation because there may be a specific amount of time you need to give notice. It would help if you also considered the time it would take to train your replacement. On the other hand, more than three weeks’ notice may be too long. Daniel Gulati says, “The moment you tell people you’re leaving, you’re perceived as an outsider.”

Voicing Your Reasons to Quit

You will most likely need to prepare for an exit interview. Please use another article from the to understand what to expect so that you can reply with kindness and respect, which will, again, prevent the downfall of your future professional network. Going back to the unfortunate reality of some work environments where people gossip, it is vital to tell each person the same reason for why you’re leaving to avoid negative rumors.

With the remnants of the pandemic still affecting the business world, here are resources from to help you strategically resign when you cannot do it in person.

Following the techniques mentioned above will assist in ensuring that you continue to have a positive impact on your industry and those working in it.

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer