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Quit your job to be an entrepreneur without burning bridges

Avoiding burnt bridges

While there are many required steps to entering the entrepreneurial world, one is that you’ll ultimately have to quit your full-time employment. And depending on your personality type and your current work environment and management team, this can get pretty awkward if making that important transition isn’t done properly.

Believe it or not, there is proper etiquette that you should follow so you don’t burn bridges on your way out. Here are five things to keep in mind as you transition from stable full-time employment to following your passion to start your own business.

Top five tips:

5. Give Ample Notice – Nothing can make a company more upset than when an employee doesn’t give enough notice, as this takes away their ability to prepare for your departure and start the hiring process to replace you. While the average notice length is two weeks, try to give more if you can. Giving ample notice can remind your current job that you’re professional, responsible, and trustworthy. And you might need those positive feelings in your future professional endeavors.

4. Be Open to Contract Work – If you know your company will be in a bind once you leave, offer to work on a freelance or contract basis. This can be regular and steady contract employment, as an as-needed basis, or until they hire someone to fill your previous position. This can make the transition smooth for both you and the company.

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3. Wrap Up Before You Leave – While it’s important to give adequate notice before leaving, you should also put in some extra effort to make sure you’ve completed all of your big projects or responsibilities. This can include training someone else or finishing it yourself. Again, it all comes to back to avoiding leaving your company in a lurch. Most companies will look on you leaving more kindly when you take care of your duties before you leave.

2. Make it Official – You can simply tell you boss you’re leaving, but it’s important to leave a paper trail. So, make it official. Write and submit a resignation letter that can be easily shared with upper management. In the resignation letter, be polite, professional, and stick to the facts. Also, it helps if you thank them for the opportunity they gave you and the skills they helped you to improve. No matter your position with the company, leave on a positive note rather than pointing out their management faults.

1. Be Ready to Train – When it comes to hiring a replacement, some companies are slower than others. If your company finds your replacement during your last few weeks, be ready and willing to train that new person. If a replacement isn’t chosen, create training materials specific to your job duties and responsibilities. When your company is ready to hire someone new, they won’t have to worry about being ill-prepared. This may even include you sitting in on the interviews and being a part of the selection process.

Making it easier on everyone

Quitting your job and becoming an independent entrepreneur isn’t always easy, and it definitely isn’t easy for your full-time work. But, the most important part is to look after yourself and your needs while maintaining a professional and polite relationship with your former coworkers and supervisors.

After all, after you leave your job, they will still be a part of your professional network. And it will continue to benefit you if you leave your job on the positive end of the spectrum, as you may one day need references or referrals. Often times, when an employee leaves a company, they are remembered for the way they left and not as much for the time they spent as an employee. Make sure you maintain your professional reputation.

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Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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