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Leaving on Good Terms

Picture of someone walking through a doorway with a sunset behind them and the words Leaving on Good Terms overlaying the image beneath The Job Shop Logo

Author: Jojo Varona

It’s ideal to leave a job on good terms, even if you feel the company didn’t treat you well – you never know when a reference will be helpful. And you also never know if you will work for the same people again in the future. Think about it like this: Sure, storming into your boss’s office to tell them you quit might sound cathartic. But that short-term release might come back to bite you. It’s an aggressive, totally unnecessary move that means you probably can’t get a reference from them. In the long run, it can hurt your future job prospects.

Here are a few tips to avoid burning any bridges that might end up burning you too.

  • Don’t look for a new job on company time. Don’t use your work email to send out resumes and have correspondence with job prospects.

  • If you do find a position, tell your boss first. You would not want them to find out from other people first that you are leaving your job.

  • Write a letter of resignation and set a final day. Give at least two weeks’ notice for your final day.

  • Keep working until you leave. Don’t let the responsibilities of your current position fall to the wayside because you’ve found something new.

  • Show appreciation. Tact is key in your final days in your current role. Even in less-than-ideal working environments, expressing gratitude for the opportunity and appreciation for your former colleagues goes a long way.

  • Get some constructive criticism. Ask for an exit interview from your supervisor and from human resources. Give honest feedback on your position and why you have decided to look for other opportunities.

  • Stay in touch. Maintain your network and keep in touch with your colleagues. This can open the doors for future career opportunities that might not have come your way otherwise.

  • Respect company privacy. Keep sensitive information that you have access to at your current job to yourself. Sharing confidential information is unprofessional and your company could take legal actions against you. Additionally, saying confidential information to hiring managers will be a red flag and can make you seem untrustworthy.

  • If you get the chance, help the company prepare for your replacement. You may not be involved in the hiring process, but you can give information on the role and the responsibilities. Your insight can provide invaluable information in the hiring and will leave a good impression.

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