Moving on? Here’s how to bow out with grace

Image: Pexels/Jopwell

Image: Pexels/Jopwell

Published Jul 20, 2023


MaryAnne Isaac

Nothing lasts forever – and in the world of work, there are numerous factors that drive people to make a change. Some could be looking to get out of a toxic workplace, while others may be seeking new avenues on their career journeys or broader opportunities for growth, development and promotion, in addition to a higher salary.

Whatever the reason, if you’ve decided to move on, it’s important to do so without burning any bridges that you may need to traverse again in future.

Here are five ways to bow out gracefully:

Take into consideration the notice period

Whether your notice period is two weeks, 30 days or 90 days – it is essential that you give sufficient notice when you quit your job. This gives the company time to find your replacement and transition without you. Time your departure in a way that allows you to complete your upcoming set of deadlines before leaving the company. This will also give you time to transition into your new job.

Tell your manager face-to-face

As tempting as it may be to quit your job over an email to avoid an awkward conversation or feelings of guilt, doing so will likely be viewed as unprofessional and disrespectful. Rather, take the conversation in-person or over a video call, and then follow up with a letter of resignation.

Be direct and professional

During your sit-down with your manager, it is usually best to open the conversation with the fact that you are resigning. Don’t make excuses or over explain yourself. You can say: “There's no easy way for me to do this, however, I wanted to let you know that I have accepted a job opportunity and I'm tendering my resignation today”. You must be clear that you're leaving.

Make an effortless transition

Leave a lasting and positive impression so your colleagues and management will fondly remember you. When leaving a job, whether it's voluntarily or involuntarily, you should leave with the same energy that you had on the first day. Leave on a good note – with no drama or bitterness. Tie up any loose ends, brief the person who is going to take over your work, and share any vital knowledge you might have that will benefit the company and your colleagues.

Keep in touch after the farewell

Don’t burn bridges. You may have quit your job, but this doesn’t mean you have to quit the friendships made along the way. Maintain the connections you formed during your time at the company.