At times in our executive career we realise that it is time to quit our jobs and move on to pastures new. When you decide it is time to leave you may be tempted to give a full and frank account of why you are leaving to your soon to be ex-bosses and colleagues. If the reasons are negative fuelled, this is a bad idea.

As we explore the concept of leaving with dignity, this blog will show you how to quit your job without burning your bridges. This is important as not least, you may need to return if things do not work out as planned. This is hard to do if the words like ‘incompetent’ and ‘useless’ have been spoken with venom.

Use Positive Spin on your Reason for Leaving

You may feel your line manager is a fool and your colleagues are useless. Despite the short term satisfaction of saying this openly, you are best advised to spin your reasons for leaving into something less confrontational. You may have good reasons for feeling this way, but openly declaring your feelings is unprofessional.

Instead, spin your reasons for leaving into something positive. Personal development, need perspective, feels like the right time to move on etc, avoids confrontation.

Additionally, your current employer will probably know your future employer. A bad word now will resonate later with this future employer. As such, unloading will damage your professional reputation.

Leaving? Just get on with it

Once you have decided to leave and hopefully you have a new position ready and waiting it is best to write your resignation letter and give it to the people that need it. This shows you are serious and not an attention seeker.

Once you have given in your notice, there is little point trying to hide the fact you are leaving, so be open and honest. Talk to the people who you feel you should talk to face to face. They might feel a bit let down or confused if you were to leave without talking through your decision with them. Remember, you are trying not to burn bridges.

Reject Counter Offers

Often, once you state you are leaving you may receive counter offers. Although the extra pay, changes to your job and promotion may seem tempting, bear in mind that the reasons you are leaving will still be there, wearing you down day after day like they do now. It is best to leave and move on.

Managing a career is a complex project and consulting a career management expert might save you a world of pain.