Career Advice

How to Quit a Job Without Burning Bridges

Only Partly June 9, 2021

It’s likely that you’ll need to quit your job at some point. Whether it’s because you want to move up, move on, or you’re miserable, you need to quit in a way that won’t burn your bridges. Here’s how to safely quit in various situations.

You Just Can’t Take it Anymore

If the hatred of your job or your boss has been building up in you over time, you may want to go out in a tirade of expletives. Resist the urge. Instead, write out your many grievances in your resignation letter. Don’t hold back. When you’re finished, tear it up and throw it away. Write a new resignation letter that is no more than two sentences: “I hereby tender my resignation, effective in two weeks. Thank you for the opportunities I’ve had during my tenure.” That’s it. Sign your name, hand it in and move on. No boss will be able to justify any resentment toward you over a letter like that.

You’re Moving Out of Town

When a relocation necessitates quitting your job, your best move is to emphasize your regret at having to leave. In this situation, it’s easy to place all the blame for quitting on someone or something else. “My spouse/parents/partner took a job in another city, and I have to go, too.” Or, “I need to be nearer to my elderly parents.” Or, “My landlord raised my rent, and I can’t afford to live anywhere else near here.” Bottom line: It’s not your fault, so no one can blame you.

A Competitor Offered You More Money, and a Better Title

This situation is the best reason to quit, but the trickiest to navigate. Don’t divulge your new job to your old boss. A vague, “I’ve decided to take my career in a new direction” will suffice. Your old boss will never be the wiser.

There you have it. Do these things, and you’ll never have to worry about burning your bridges.