We're coming up on that time of year when we start thinking about making new life resolutions and changes in our lives. If you’re in a position to be able to quit your job, you might want to think about how it’s going to happen. Here’s a hint: barging into your boss’s office and screaming, “Take this job and shove it” probably isn’t the best way to go.

Seriously though, if you really are about to quit your job, no matter what, you don't want to burn any bridges. Here are a couple do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when resigning from your job:

  • Do Clean Up Your Computer – Before you tell your boss that it's over, delete personal files and email messages and make sure you have the contact information for everyone you need to keep in touch with after you're gone. Make sure you do this before anything else because there's a good chance chance you’ll be escorted to the door and not allowed to scrounge around your office after you've officially quit.
  • Don't Put it in Writing – Do write a professional letter to be placed in your employee file thanking your boss for the time you spent with the company, but regardless of how much you hate your job, your boss, or the company, don't say it or write it. Keep it to yourself because a nasty resignation letter could come back to haunt you, even years after you’ve left.
  • Do Give Notice When Possible – Giving two weeks notice is standard practice. It allows everyone involved to part ways under the best circumstances and keeps from burning bridges.
  • Don't Brag About Your New Job – Even if you just landed the best job in the world, is there really any point in making your soon to be ex-colleagues feel badly that you're leaving?  The answer would be no.

Moral of the story is this: every single thing that you do (or don't do) could come back to haunt you in the future even if you don't see it now. Whenever you exit a job, you should do so with grace and class because this world continues to get smaller and you never know when you might end up crossing paths with your boss in the future.

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