How to Quit Your Job with Bridges Intact

Like everything else in the professional realm, there are right and wrong ways to quit your job. 

There are few more active job-hunting months of the year than January, when new years resolutes, brimming with hope that the new year will bring fresh career challenges, set off to find new employment. Should their search be met with success, what this also means is that the first few months of the year yield the greatest number of employee resignations.

For most workers -- stimulated to find a new job because of displeasure with their current one -- this is the greatest day of their year, and therein lies a notable temptation to go running up and down the cubicle aisles yelling "I quit! Finally! Woo hoo!"

But no matter how satisfying this may feel in the short term, no matter how much employees might hate their job or boss or can't wait to start their next dream job, and even if they are leaving two steps ahead of the axe, workplace experts sternly warn against celebrating at the office.

In short: You never know when you'll need a former colleague for a reference and in the sometimes small world of IT, you never know when this individual will become your co-worker again.

Like everything else in the professional realm, there are right ways and wrong ways to quit your job, and though the wrong ways may seem obvious to some, they are still practiced by many.

Below, career coaches, recruiters and workplace experts navigate the sometimes blurry line between burned bridges and leaving on a classy note.

Make Sure You're Making the Right Choice

So many employees leave their jobs each year for what seems like a dream job, get to the new place of employment and find that it falls well below their expectations and beg to come back to their old jobs that recruiters have a term for these people: Boomerang employees.

The best way to avoid this label is to think your decision through, again and again, before zooming out the door.

But the best way to assure you could get let back in the door if you still make a bad choice is to leave in good standing.

Get Your Story Straight

Even if you are leaving because you hate your job, because they treat you with no respect, because their IT systems are a joke to any self-respecting organization and because you're getting paid nearly twice as much in your new job to do half the work, you still may want to consider which of these bits of information -- if any -- you want to share with your soon-to-be former co-workers.

"It is important to consider why you are really leaving and how much detail you want to give," Tim Bosse, executive vice president of Hudson IT & Telecommunications, told eWEEK.

"Once you've set your story, your direct reports and leadership will want to know why. Are you going to be the new president of Microsoft? Tell them. But if your experience wasn't positive, do not let your emotions overwhelm you. You have to be prepared to not share all of the details."

Write Your Resignation Letter

Here is what a resignation letter should never be: "After 10 years at X company, I am leaving to go work at Y company even though it makes me terrifically sad, and I will miss everyone and am so grateful..." etc.

A resignation letter is a legal notification that will go on your permanent record and is no place for explanations, reasons and any more than the very essential information.