This post on how to quit your job nicely can easily be called, “NEVER burn bridges!”. But the focus here is to avoid dramatic reactions and explain how to quit your job with dignity. We want you to stay on a positive career path. Even though you may feel some bridges need burning down, we challenge you to stop and reconsider.
Why explain how to quit your job nicely?
All people who quit a job need to protect their business relationships going forward in their career. So, you hated your boss. But you had many other colleagues in the company. What about them?
Burning your bridge with the boss or company may also sever your relationship with former co-workers. After all, they have to protect their relationship with the company they still work with. We live in a smaller, well-connected LinkedIn resume world. Careers are lasting longer and people’s memories are enhanced by online content that lives on Google for years. Besides, we usually do not quit jobs. We quit the people we work with.
There is no valid long-term reason why an employee of a company should go out in a dramatic blaze of glory. Leave that stuff for the movies. Yes, you may feel strongly that some bridges need burning down, but overreacting in the short-term can leave you with long-term negative consequences for your career.
Quit with a professional email
Words are very powerful. If you choose to write a resignation letter, leave the emotion out of it. Avoid writing emails with sarcasm, venom, or subtle passive-aggressive tones. Do not go into explanations about your feelings. Above all, do not email everyone in the company, including the people you do not work with.
Stick to a simple resignation letter that shows you are neither petty nor childish. Go out with your head held high.
Try something new...Keep the complaints off Glassdoor
This author will probably be met with disagreement on this approach. But I write this because, at first, Glassdoor made sense. People never had an outlet to express why companies were unfair. It was all done anonymously and in public forum.
But just like anything created with a good intention, it is killed off by fanatical abuse. When business advice for complaints becomes, “Just say thank you”, the usefulness of a platform is lost. Social platforms that allow for people to complain about companies and bosses, also invite retaliatory and angry responses. It may seem “safe” at the time. But if what you write on Glassdoor sounds like what you said when you burned the bridge at work yesterday, everyone who knows you also knows who wrote it. It is easy to figure out.
Keep your Glassdoor review to yourself. If you really want some sort of vindication, start your own company and do it better. Stay positive. You will always be the bigger person that way.
Give the company time to prepare. Go out with a smile.
Stop and think before you storm out of the office for good. Think about this for a moment:
- What are the short-term benefits of burning bridges at work?
- What are the long-term benefits?
After you have written your answers down, write out the answer to this question:
- Do they compare to the long-term benefits of showing employees respect?
In the past, the many people I had seen burn bridges apologized several years later. The anger felt from that burnt bridge, and the people involved, were hurting their career progression. It was an attempt to fix a burning bridge. And even though an apology was accepted, the trust between the former colleagues was broken. You don’t get trust back once it is broken.
Another problem was that the colleagues who dealt with some sort of wrath in the workplace after you had quit suddenly, no longer trust you. They do not hate you perhaps they hated the job also. But the bridge burner was seen as someone who could not be trusted during challenging times. Many business connections were lost because you did not know how to quit your job nicely. You left people in a jam. By human nature, we are all not big on giving people second chances.
Remember above all
Cooler heads always prevail. Quit nicely. Don’t burn career bridges. You can never rebuild them once they are lost. And you never know if your career path will circle back around to needing old colleagues again.