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How to Leave Your Current Job without Burning Any Bridges


Guidelines to resigning in style, in a professional manner, and with dignity. Learn how to tell your boss and other people that you're moving on.

Whether you are quitting your job because you have accepted a new position or because your present employment has become an undoable situation, your leave taking should be professional and diplomatic so that the door is not shut and sealed tight after you go. You never know when you will need a reference or to network with a former colleague or supervisor.

This is especially difficult to do when you are resigning due to a stressful and pressured situation. However, there are some steps you can take to leave on as good terms as possible.

It really can be a temptation to tell your boss off ... however, you will regret this unprofessional behavior later when you gain some perspective.


A. Informing Your Supervisor. Tell your boss first of your intent ? erbally, followed up by a letter of resignation. If you are leaving due to a new job, be straightforward about your reason for going and express your appreciation for the opportunities you have had to learn and gain valuable skills. The same basically holds true if you are leaving because you want out of your present working conditions. It really can be a temptation to tell your boss off, express your true feelings, and just pick up your things and leave. However, you will regret this unprofessional behavior later when you gain some perspective.

B. Informing your staff and other people. Next, if you have any staff, tell them as a group. Keep your explanation for resigning direct and factual. Do not criticize or blame your boss. Thank them for their support and cooperation in making the office run efficiently and effectively. Finally, let your co-workers, and other associates know of your decision. Again, keep it as low key as possible. For people you want to remain in touch with, give them your contact information.

Resignation Letter

Your written resignation should be kept short and simple - minimum information includes date, name of person being submitted to, statement of employment resignation, effective date of departure, and your signature. If you can say some positive things about your boss and the organization, do so. However, venting your feelings in writing is unacceptable and on file for future reference use.

Other Tips

  • Give a minimum of two weeks notice.
  • In an exit interview be polite, tactful, and succinct: criticism, if any, given honestly and without any bitterness.
  • Do not take any files or information considered company property.
  • Before going, complete current tasks and projects.
  • Leave your office in order making it easier for your replacement.

Basically, focus your explanation for leaving on the future rather than the past and people will respect your decision and actions.

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