How to Quit Your Job: Burning Bridges

From a young age, if you had a mother like mine at least, you were always told to ‘never burn your bridges’. Don’t intentionally destroy a path, reputation or relationship as you progress. The idea being that in the event you take two steps forward, those connections are still there when you’re forced to take a step back. Now, while I see the logic and appreciate the principles, I think in the case of quitting your job, burning bridges is a must. To be abundantly clear, I do not mean you should waltz into your boss’s office one day, shit on his desk and throw your letter of resignation at him tied to a brick – however much you might want too. Because, to continue the burning bridges analogy, this would be like pouring petrol on the fire to the point where it spreads to the surrounding areas and blocks your path forward… a bit of janky analogy I know.

I do not mean you should waltz into your boss’s office one day, shit on his desk and throw your letter of resignation at him tied to a brick

So, not only is it potentially counterproductive, it’s certainly pointless and ungrateful; remember if you’re able to quit your job because your side hustle has become your main income, ask yourself where did the start-up capital come from? How did you pay the bills while your new venture was doing nothing but costing time and money? Reflect on the positives and become grateful for the opportunities the job, however woefully boring, has given you… anyway, that’s a topic for another day and another blog post. When its time to quit, give a proper notice period in a professional, but a brief letter (there are a million and one templates online for this). Be courteous and grateful to your boss and again, don’t shit on his desk. Now comes the fun bit. As news of your imminent departure starts to trickle down you’ll inevitably begin to be asked all the obvious questions – why, where, who, when, blah blah blah… This is where you burn your bridges. Tell your coworkers exactly where you’re going and what you’re doing. But most importantly, don’t hold back and dumb down your aspirations. If anything, inflate them.


I’m just going to try doing my own thing for a bit, I’ve got this little online business I’ve been working on recently, so we’ll see how it goes.


I’ve started an online business and it’s really taking off. It’s going to make me some proper money while I’ll travel the world full time. I’m never going to get stuck in an office again that’s for sure.

You might come across a bit of a dick, but that’s really the whole point. The goal here is not to make it impossible to return to your old job if indeed you are forced to take a backward step. But make it so fucking awkward for you to do so, you’d rather die trying to make your new venture work than walk back into that office red faced, seeing all those co-workers who you just know are talking behind your back about how they knew all along it wouldn’t work out. The motivation this gives you is astounding. To leave you with one last convoluted analogy, imagine you’ve got to swim across an ice cold swimming pool. The approach I’m suggesting is the equivalent of backflipping off the diving board. If it gets too cold you can always scramble back out, but you’re going to look stupid, so you’d rather crack on and get it done. You could lower yourself down the ladder at the side and you can always climb back up if its too much. But guess what? Chances are you won’t follow through and you’ll be stood at the side freezing your bollocks off anyway. Shitting on your bosses desk is like doing backflip, but then having to swim with no arms and if you need to get out, well… you can’t.

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