Leaving Your Job Without Burning Bridges: A Step-by-Step Guide to a Healthy Resignation

October 24, 2022

Regardless of why you want to leave your job, it is possible to leave without burning bridges. Not only is it possible, but it’s the right thing to do.

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Why Leave Your Job on Good Terms

Before you get into the nitty-gritty of how to resign without offending anyone, first consider why you should act calmly and with deliberation. Below are a few good reasons to leave your current position on good terms:
• It can preserve your professional reputation.
• It communicates respect and gratitude.
• It may earn you an esteemed recommendation.
• It can secure your right to return.

How to Leave Your Job on Good Terms

Now that you know why you should leave your job on good terms, it’s time to consider the hows of doing so. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to leave a job without burning bridges:

• Tell your boss first. Though you may be tempted to spill the beans to a favored coworker first, don’t. Tell your boss first to reduce the risk of the news becoming distorted in the grapevine, and to retain control of the situation.
• Be transparent. Because of social networks, your boss and coworkers will learn of your plans eventually. Though you do not have a legal obligation to do so, it’s best practice to be transparent.
• Write a formal letter of resignation. A formal letter of resignation is a professional courtesy that can go a long way toward extending your professionalism through your last days.
• Give your two weeks. Giving notice is the courteous thing to do, as it gives your employer a chance to find your replacement.
• Work until your last day. Job abandonment is not only inconsiderate, but it also could prove detrimental to your long-term goals. Unless your supervisor asks you to do otherwise, work until your last day.
• Remain professional until the end. Don’t just show up physically. Show up mentally as well. Do your job as normal, respect office protocol, and refrain from being insulting. If you do each of these things when leaving your current role, you can keep your connections — and reputation intact.

Leaving Your Job to Start Your Own Business

If you’re leaving your job to start your own business, you have an exciting but stressful journey ahead of you. To make it less stressful, take steps before you quit to establish your business. You can start an S Corp, which comes with the benefits of self-employment tax savings, pass-through taxation capabilities, and the option to claim your losses as a tax deduction. You can use an online formation service to save on hefty lawyer fees. However, be sure to check the rules in your state before moving forward.

Also, make sure to establish a robust invoicing system. Without a backup job, it’s imperative to get paid quickly and on-time. Use an online invoice maker to customize your invoices with your logo, photos, text and more. Though nerve-wracking, leaving your job can be a wise career move. This is particularly true if your future involves starting your own business. That said, make sure to leave on the right terms, and without burning bridges with former supervisors or coworkers.

Article written by Guest Blogger:
Derek Goodman


Felicia Shanken

Hello, my name is Felicia Shanken CEO & Founder of the Philadelphia Women’s Network Connection, LLC and PWNC Foundation Inc 501(c)(3). ​My mission is to create a friendly supportive community where business owners enjoy sharpening their entrepreneurial edge while nurturing valuable relationships that enrich career satisfaction.

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