Career Tests Guide

Three Secrets to Resigning without Burning Bridges

You may have received a job offer — the one you’ve always dreamed about. Before you can start it, though, you have to resign from your current position, resigning without burning bridges. Even if you faced problems, you need to resign politely and avoid the conflicts that can stem from taking a new position.

If you go out with a bang, instead, you can face a lot of problems from your burnt bridges down the road. Hiring managers have been known to contact applicants’ past employers, even if they aren’t listed as references. With a little planning, though, you can leave quietly and with goodwill.

3 Tips For Resigning Without Burning Bridges

1. Plan out your resignation in advance. Get all of your current projects in order. You should be able to tell your manager or replacement the exact status of any given project, as well as point out the next steps. You should also take the time to review any contract you might have with your current employer, as well as any resignation procedures listed in your company handbook. Once you’ve set the ball rolling, you need to know what is needed to tie up loose ends, like your health care and retirement package.

2. Give your employer as much advance warning as you can. Two weeks is considered standard, and many employers include a requirement for at least that much notice in their contracts. Even an extra week of notice can really improve your employer’s view of your resignation: you’ll have a better chance of tidying up your projects, and may even train your replacement before you go.

3. Write a polite letter of resignation. Avoid bringing up criticism in your letter of resignation, and it is acceptable to entirely omit your reason for leaving. A letter of resignation only needs to contain your job title, the effective date of your resignation and your signature. Be aware that many companies will expect you to leave immediately if you hand in a letter of resignation, and be prepared to do so.

No matter how well your resignation goes, there might be a few hard feelings. The only thing you should focus on is completing your responsibilities before you leave. It’s the easiest way to build goodwill and leave an impression that will last even after you’ve left. It’s a good way for resigning without burning bridges.

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