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10 ways on how to leave a company without burning bridges


Applying for a new job can be the opportunity that changes your life.  If the application was successful the next step is to hand in your notice!  This can be a difficult transition if the situation cannot be managed correctly.

"It’s not you it’s me”

The exit interview is not the time to bring up any gripes you have about the job for the first time. These should have been discussed long before you made that final decision to leave.

Who knows maybe if you’d brought them up before, your boss would have said yes to that pay-rise and those new perks. So have those difficult conversations before you decide to leave.

  • If you’re frustrated with your job don’t lose your temper, maintain your professionalism and try to find a solution. If that doesn’t work start putting the wheels in motion to find a new job.

  • Give sufficient notice whether it’s in your contract or not, it’s not nice to leave your employer and fellow colleagues in the lurch

  • Keep focused on your work right up to the end. You may be leaving for a new job but it doesn’t mean that you should spend your last few weeks daydreaming about how brilliant your new job will be. Remember you most likely will need a reference from this company and you don’t want to go out on a low point.

  • Don’t leave a mess behind you. You need to leave a good handover document for the incumbent. Don’t leave a drawer full of untouched work that someone will find months down the line.

  • “It’s not you it’s me” - at exit interview be diplomatic, your reason for leaving should be positive, you’re leaving for a particular opportunity or to grow your career.

  • Be grateful for the opportunities that you have had, a simple thank you will go a long way.

  • If you are having a leaving do avoid letting that colleague know exactly what you think after having a few drinks. Keep it to yourself.

  • Once you’ve moved on don’t slate your old company or divulge all their secrets, it won’t win you any friends and will undermine your credibility.

  • Finally, remember Ireland is a small country with very few degrees of separation. Now think about the industry you work in and how small that is. It’s never worth it to burn any bridges. Leave people with only a positive impression of you.

 For career advice on writing cover letters and preparing a CV please visit Hays Career Advice.

Download our guide on How to resign

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