Leave Your Job Without Burning a Bridge

If a New Year job jump is on the horizon, the wisest course of action is to finesse how you leave. While you may have been very unhappy in your current position, there is still no reason to burn bridges. Exiting cleanly requires some effort, but here’s how to leave your job without drama and hard feelings. 


Don’t Leave Them High and Dry 

Leaving a job at a critical juncture, such as when an important project is due, is just bad form. While you may be tempted to “stick it to the man” by exiting in the middle of a rocky assignment, keep in mind that your behavior will also affect the team of coworkers around you. So, leaving with a clean desk and an empty deadline calendar is a good way to keep your reputation intact. 


Start at the Top 

Even if the relationship with your boss was rocky (and so many times this is what precipitates the resignation), go to him or her first with the news of your resignation. Many of us have a BFF at work, but you should resist the urge to tell them you are fleeing the scene before you tell your boss. It’s a courtesy that you may not feel your boss deserves, frankly, but it’s ethically a good move that will also be good for your career. 


Do Give Notice

Everyone fantasizes at one point or another about the big job walkout. But resist temptation and give, at minimum, a two-week notice. At least offer your employer the option of two-weeks, although that time may be difficult for you. Tell your new employer you likely need two weeks to transition the role but ask if you have the option to start sooner, in case your employer walks you out the door the day you resign. This happens sometimes, so while you’re taking the moral high ground by offering the standard two-week transition, you cannot control how your old job will respond, so it’s best to be prepared. 


Skip the Trash Talk 

It’s not worth it to badmouth your employer. It will just make you look bad. Keep in mind that you are getting out and there’s no need to create a hostile environment by trash talking your employer. Frankly, many times it won’t do any good besides make other people judge your lack of professionalism. If the company has an exit interview, focus on creating a concise but accurate list of concerns that caused you to leave, but do it in a way that remains professional and productive. 


Tie Up Loose Ends 

It might feel a little uncomfortable to train your replacement but think about it from the perspective of the new employee. Having you proactively help them get their sea legs is a kindness that will pay you back in goodwill. Make sure you leave your desk clean with nothing hanging unfinished if at all possible to ensure a good handoff to the next person in your seat. 


If you’re ready to make a change in the New Year but haven’t found the right fit, talk to the Blackstone team. We help the best people find the right fit. Give us a call. We can help. 

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