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How to quit a job without burning bridges

man leaving job

According to a Gallup survey, only one-third of Americans are engaged in their work. If you’re part of the other two-thirds who are unhappy with their jobs or working for a boss they can’t stand, the allure to quit in a blaze of glory can seem too tempting to resist. Maybe you even want to create an epic “I quit” video, letting your boss know what you really think of him.

As satisfying as this can be in the moment, burning bridges with your former employer will only come back to haunt you in the end.

I once had an employee who left the company, burning bridges as he went. Eighteen months later, he contacted me looking to get his old job back, but all I could think about was the unprofessional way he left the company. Suffice it to say, he didn’t get the job.

It’s a small world — especially in the healthcare industry — and news about former employees travels fast. Knowing the right and wrong way to quit a job is important to maintain your reputation as a professional.

Knowing the Right and Wrong Way to Quit Your Job

How to quit your job infographicThere’s nothing wrong with quitting a job, especially if it’s not a good fit. But before you give your notice, make sure you know the right and wrong way to do it.

Here are a few dos and don’ts.


  • Give your resignation in person.
  • Provide your employer with the appropriate amount of time that you’re quitting, two weeks is a good minimum. If you are in a hard to fill position and can give more notice, do.
  • Be an active part of the patient transition process.
  • Thank your bosses and co-workers for the positive experience.
  • Transition any remaining work to others and leave good records for the person who replaces you.
  • Offer professional and constructive feedback in the exit interview.


  • Leave your employer in the lurch by giving them short notice of your departure.
  • Send your resignation by text, email, or voicemail.
  • Boast to your co-workers about your new job.
  • Mentally check out after giving your notice.
  • Badmouth your former boss, co-workers, or facility.
  • Post your grievances on social media.

Being a consummate professional throughout the process and after you leave the facility will only help to further your career. Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all — especially on social media.

Building relationships that last

Creating solid professional relationships is the starting point to a successful career. Whether it’s with your peers, recruiters, or past and present employers, having a professional network is crucial to achieving success.

Burning bridges when you quit will only hinder these relationships. Instead of letting your grievances become your focal point, focus on how quitting the right way will help you maintain a lasting relationship that may one day help your career.

Need help finding your next job? Give us a call at 888.212.0816 or view today’s healthcare job openings.

About the author

Gerry Carpenter

Gerry Carpenter

Gerry Carpenter is the managing editor for CHG Healthcare. He is a 20-year marketing veteran who loves to write, edit, and play with words. He enjoys visiting new places, speaks fluent French, and is slowly learning Portuguese and Japanese.


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  • This is great how did you manage to work for twenty good years without moving out of the job may be the pay was pleasant and attractive. Yeah it takes commitment to build and love your job some times.Guide me on how to overcome fear of the unknown financial challenges when the job pays too little to sustain ones life.

  • Thank you very much for the insight! It’s helpful to think about these type of etiquettes in the professional world.

  • I worked at my last job 33 1/3 years and I gave 12 months notice. This is the worst thing I have ever done. Every distasteful project I was assigned. I thought I was doing the right thing by giving a 12 month notice but they turned it into 12 months of even more hostile work environment. Given the opportunity to redo it, I would have given a months notice and been done with it.


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