Leave Your Job Without Burning Bridges


By Jason Fitzpatrick, Lifehacker

It's inevitable that you'll be leaving your present job at some point, whether by your choice or your boss's, and it's important to leave with relationships and contacts intact.

Given the recent economic climate and the wave of job cuts that has swept through the country, it isn't a surprise that some extremely frustrated employees are throwing out the traditional routines when it comes to quitting time. Burning bridges with your former company, managers and fellow employees never benefits you, even if it feels good at the time to stomp out the door.

At MSNBC they've written up an article highlighting ways to make sure you keep important connections with your old place of employment. From the article, excerpted from Sandra Naiman's book "The High Achiever's Secret Codebook: The Unwritten Rules for Success at Work":

  • Give two weeks' notice. Both your past and future employer will consider it a plus.
  • Explain that you are leaving because of growth opportunities with the new company, not due to dissatisfaction, even if it's not true.
  • On your last day, write your boss and colleagues a thank-you note via e-mail about how much you enjoyed working with them.
  • Offer to train your replacement, and if possible, be available after you leave to answer questions.
  • Make sure your work is caught up before you leave and write notes, when relevant, to guide and inform your replacement.
  • If you have external customers, collaborate with your boss on how to transition them to your replacement.
  • When telling customers you are leaving, say only good things about the company and your experience there.
  • Let them know you only want to leave the job, not the relationships you have built.

It can be tough to put on a chipper face when you've just been pink slipped, or to hold down the fort for those extra two weeks when you've found a better job, but if it means keeping professional contacts with your previous coworkers and employers, it's worth it.


Lifehacker is a daily productivity blog featuring tips and tricks to help make your days more efficient, whether at work or at home. For more ideas, please visit Lifehacker.com.

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