How to Resign Without Burning Any Bridges
You’ve done the hard work. You’ve submitted resumes, had interviews, negotiated salary requirements and accepted an offer all while being a productive member of your current team. Now there’s just one more balancing act left – resign from your job while maintaining a positive professional relationship with your supervisor.
To those of you who feel that resigning is as simple as waving goodbye as you stroll out the door, I urge you to keep in mind the oft-quoted mantra for success, “it’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know (who also likes you).”
So, if you want to avoid burning any bridges and keep your professional relationships in tact, do these three simple things before you leave:
1. Write a Resignation Letter
When you are drafting your resignation letter, it can be easy to go overboard on the details, but this is not necessary. Just follow these guidelines and your writing session will be a breeze.
DON’T: Leave out the day on which you intend to leave.
DO: Provide firm date of departure no less that 2 weeks from the day you present the letter
DON’T: Include your negative feelings about the company
DO: Highlight the positives of your experience at the company
DON’T: Drag other’s names through the mud
DO: Thank your supervisor for the opportunity they gave you to work with them
2. Create Workflow and ‘In Process’ Lists
Just as you want to be set up for success at your new company, you should also want to provide your replacement with all of the information that they will need to hit the ground running.
By mapping out your current workflow and making a list of projects that are in process or upcoming, you will ease some of the burden of the inevitable learning curve, allowing your supervisor to lead, not continually rehash.
3. Offer to Provide Short-Term Support
Understanding that there will be bumps in the road after you depart (despite your detailed lists), offer to be available for calls after hours for any questions that they may have.
By showing your continued commitment to the supervisor and team that you left, they will continue to be committed to your future success, as well.
Once you’ve made sure to do these three things, ask your supervisor if they would be willing to be a reference for you in the future. SPOILER ALERT: They will likely say, “YES!”.