Don't Burn Bridges: A Guide to Quitting Your Job

Happy New Year! New Year... New job??

If there’s one thing I learned on my career journey, it's the importance of maintaining positive professional relationships. This is especially true if you work in an industry where everyone-knows-everyone as well as when it comes time for gathering references. These relationships (or lack of) can definitely affect your opportunities in the future.

Today, I'm providing you with a quick and simple guide on what steps you should be taking when you’re ready to move on to your next opportunity.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

First things first, before doing anything drastic make sure you have the proper security in place. By this I mean, having an official offer of employment. For those of you who are leaving for other reasons such as pursuing self-employment, moving, etc. This security would look more like having savings in place to cover your cost of living until a new income source is secured… Savings are critical regardless because you never know what curveballs life can throw at you but this is especially true if you’re put in a position where you might not have much steady cash flow for a while. If you need some guidance on budgeting you can refer to Cass’s Budgeting 101 post here.

Prepare and submit your letter of resignation (2-4 week notice)

Once you have an offer in place, prepare to submit your letter of resignation. The usual expectation is that employees will submit their notice 2 weeks in advance from their prospective last day. Some employers may request 4 weeks notice but lets face it, a whole month can be a bit unrealistic if your prospective employer is trying to hire ASAP. Some people might be asking, “What should I write in my resignation letter?”. My feedback to that is to keep it short and sweet. The main things you want to include are the following

  • Company name and information (you can include your managers name as well)

  • Last day of employment

  • Your name

*You do NOT need to include any reasons for why you are leaving.

For a basic template that you can customize, I got your back. Subscribe to the email list for a free download of a customizable resignation letter for your own use!

Request reference contact information for future use

This is the part that will save you the run around in the future. Before you officially leave, take some time to sit down and have a chat with your manager or supervisor (who ever you have a better connection with). During this sit down you can do a few things;

1. Create a plan for your transition out

2. Ask for feedback on your performance during your time there

3. Just have a genuine moment to thank them for the work you’ve down together

4. Last but most importantly, ask how you can keep in touch and if you can use them as a reference in the future! Some people may be hesitant to provide their personal number so if they have LinkedIN this is a great way to stay connected while keeping it professional (this is great in case they happen to move to another company as well)

What next?

Do what you can to make your transition as smooth as possible. Finish up tasks, organize documents so it’s easy to navigate, connect with clients if required, etc. You also want to check in with HR to discuss unused sick/vacation days (or excess) and how that will affect your last pay, Record of Employment and more.

When you’ve officially moved on, I’m going to advise that you actually keep in touch! You really never know when these connections will come in handy. I first hand can tell you that because of the relationships I’ve maintained I’ve gotten connected with so many different opportunities that have impacted my career greatly so trust me on this one!

All the best with your career journey.

Brandesha, The Working Millennial.