189: How to quit my job without burning bridges?


Welcome to episode #189 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. In the quiet of the morning hours or the late night in-between hours, you start asking yourself what it would look like to move on from where you’re at now. You might have even found a new role or job but one thing holds you back from really feeling like it’s a good idea to move on. It’s the idea of leaving on good terms. You want to move on but don’t want to burn any bridges from this current role or employer. Today’s podcast on how to quit your job without burning bridges will help you understand why it’s important to leave on good terms and how to do it.

There are usually a few different reasons we leave our work and move onto something else. One reason is that we’ve been laid off or let go from our current job. There may have been a restructuring and your role was made redundant. You could have also been in a new role post the restructuring that isn’t what you want to do.

The other reason we move on is because the current role or situation just doesn’t work for us anymore. Maybe it’s a lifestyle change that’s fairly urgent and you can’t do the work the way it needs to be done anymore. Maybe you realize that the current situation is creating mental or physical health issues and you know it’s time to make a change so that you can get healthy again. Or, you realize that the current organization you’re in and the work you do isn’t a good fit anymore. Their style or culture doesn’t align with your ways of working or your own values.

The third reason we leave is because we have another opportunity that is really attractive and whether for growth, compensation or impact reasons, we decide that it would be in our best interest to pursue this new thing. Sometimes this is in sync with us knowing that the current role doesn’t work well for us anymore,but it can also be that you’re really happy in your current role, but this new opportunity is even better. 

What’s really interesting is that in all these cases, you’re leaving – and you have the same situation, but the context can influence the way you leave and how you think about your current employer or job situation before you leave. In the second scenario, if there’s been trouble brewing or feelings of resentment or frustration, it can be harder to leave on good terms. In the third scenario, where you’re really happy and content with the work you’re doing – it might feel easier to leave on good terms. In the first scenario where you’re affected by a restructuring, it can be either a feeling of goodwill towards the company you’re leaving because the way they’ve dealt with the restructuring and changes have been very positive and supportive of you – or you might feel resentment towards them because the opposite has been true.

Either way, in all three scenarios – you can leave on good terms, without burning bridges.

It doesn’t serve you or anyone else to destroy or worsen relationships in the process of leaving and transitioning to a new role. If anything, this is an incredible opportunity for you to really thrive and shine. You can improve your relationships as you leave. You can strengthen your connection to your co-workers, former colleagues, former clients or bosses. 

There’s a concept in behavioral economics that I remember learning called peak-end theory. People will tend to remember the peak of the experience and then how it ended. You may not have control over the peak of your experience with someone if it’s already been in the past, but you can control how things end. People, including yourself, will remember the level of maturity and professionalism you exhibit as you move on.

Often, we get so excited about what’s next that we think about how we don’t have to do any of the things that we don’t love about our current situation. You might be counting down the days and celebrating how you don’t have to talk to a certain person or deal with a certain way of doing things that you really don’t like, but the fact is that in any job or role – there will always be those things we don’t fully love. When you take the remaining time you have and focus on what you really don’t love and why you’re so happy to leave those things behind, you’re creating a scenario where the energy you have towards the things you’re leaving isn’t so positive or helpful. You’re fixated on how terrible things are and your thoughts are pretty negative.

These subtle energetic cues can be felt and what is really more powerful is if you were able to hold the energy of respect and maturity towards the thing that you’re leaving. No matter how terrible things are, it created something for you – whether it was the impetus to leave and therefore showing you that you have what it takes to create new work and roles – or whether it was the chance to learn new and different skills or to meet new people, there is something that you can appreciate about your job, even today.

Focus on the appreciation even as you create new opportunities for yourself and you’ll find that the transition to different roles and opportunities is just a natural progression of what you do. It becomes easier to separate roles from relationships. It becomes easier to feel like you’re not letting people down if you walk away from what you currently do. It becomes easier to see that work is really just work, and that who you are as you do the work matters more. Who you are is the person who doesn’t burn bridges and who can be thoughtful as you move on.

For any of you who already know that you have a hard time leaving relationships in general, this is a good time for you to reconcile that how you do one thing may be how you do everything. If you find that you generally leave and cut off ties completely in your personal lives, that might be the approach you try to take in your work life. If you find that you generally have good terms and connect with all people in your life, even if your relationships have changed – you’ll find the same thing going with work.

No matter how your work has treated you, your standards for how you treat others can be more powerful and telling of your character. It’s not a tit-for-tat scenario where because they’ve treated you a certain way, you don’t exhibit a certain level of professionalism. If you want to quit your job without burning bridges, you treat people and the situation with professionalism. Think about what the other person who’s on the receiving end of the news will be thinking about and try to anticipate how you would respond to their questions or concerns. 

When you can prepare for those conversations and be clear about what your transition means to them without making it personal, it will be a win-win.

If you’re ready to Own Your Best Life, I want to invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies. You can access the training at https://may-empson.mykajabi.com/stand-out-and-lead.

You can then apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call HERE. We’ll see you inside.

Want to know more about what happens when you join?

  1. When you join Spiritual Achiever® Coaching you’ll be supported for a full year: Career Revelation Academy: A 5-step career change process (if you have a job you want to stay in, I’ll show you how to love it even more) that can launch you into your next career chapter in 30 days.
  2. 2x/month group training and coaching on Spirituality, Achievement, Earth Energy and Harmony. You’ll know how to design your days for breakthroughs, create a personal brand and community, lead yourself and others through change, become more physically and mentally fit, reduce stress and reinvent what’s possible in this next chapter of your life.
  3. Discover your Leadership Strengths and Branding Workshop: Increase your awareness of what makes YOU different from others and how to become even better at your genius zone.
  4. Your Best Year workshop: Create your one year plan and design this next year, no matter what time of the year it is.
  5. Your Next 5 Years one-day virtual retreat: Vision what’s possible 5 years from now and break out of your old routines so you can step into new habits, behaviors and routines.
  6. Tickets to all in-person Spiritual Achiever retreats (accommodations not included): Highly immersive and intimate gatherings where we spend time in nature, experience energy work, eat and move well – all while making big decisions and committing to what’s next for us.
  7. Monthly 1:1 Coaching Sessions: To help you break through obstacles, define your individual path, and to work on both strategy and mindset.

The next step?

Schedule a consultation to get clarity on how coaching can help you on your journey.

Once you’re accepted into the program, you’ll receive a calendar invite for a 2-hour deep dive 1:1 session to map out your personal goals and your own year-long journey.

You’ll have immediate access to the Spiritual Achiever process and philosophy – how to achieve your biggest goals and reinvent your life.

You’ll have immediate access to 5 modules of Career Revelation Academy – to love your career even more and launch that next chapter of your career in 30 days.

You’ll have the calendar invites for the upcoming group calls and retreats.

If this speaks to you, I can’t wait to talk to you live: Schedule a consultation.

Reach out at www.mayempson.com/contact for more information on my Spiritual Achiever coaching program. You’ll figure out what’s next and actually go and do it. 

That’s it for this week. Have an amazing one and I’ll talk to you next time.

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