Tips on changing jobs

Worker packing their belongings into a box

Employers are always impacted when an employee leaves but there is a way to leave a job without ‘burning your bridges’.

Regardless of why you are leaving, remaining fully committed to your job until you leave will benefit you. Prospective employers may discuss your reliability, attitude, attendance and conduct with past or current employers.

Here are some tips on the right way to leave a job:

  • Prepare for the conversation. Talking to your boss about leaving can be difficult, especially if you’re not sure how they will react. Plan what you want to say and what you want to get out of the conversation. If you are leaving because of an issue at work, don’t just quit, try to resolve the issue first.
  • Never quit in anger. Leaving a job in a negative way or speaking negatively about previous jobs (particularly on social media or during an interview) can damage your chances of getting future jobs. Potential employers will do their research and won’t want to hire someone who speaks negatively about past employers.
  • Always tell your boss first. Don’t tell your co-workers you are leaving until you have spoken face-to-face with your boss. You will also need to provide a formal resignation letter.
  • Give as much notice as you can. The minimum notice period you need to give depends on what is specified in your employment agreement and is often based on the length of time you have worked for your employer. Even if you don’t have to give any notice (e.g. if you are a casual) try to give at least one week’s notice so your boss has some time to find a replacement.
  • Don’t slack off at work. Continue to act professionally and do your job to the best of your ability during your notice period.
  • Ask for a reference. Remember to ask your employer or manager for a written reference and whether you could list them as a verbal referee for future job applications. If they say no, you could ask a senior co-worker or another manager in the business to act as a referee.
  • Leave your contact details. There may be paperwork that your employer needs to send you after you leave. For example, they will need to know where to send your Pay As You Go (PAYG) payment summary (sometimes called a ‘Group Certificate’) at the end of the financial year.
  • Keep track of your superannuation. Keep a record of your superannuation account to make sure that you don’t lose track of your superannuation.

Regardless of why you are leaving, remaining fully committed to your job will benefit you in the long run.

These tools and resources can help you:

…Or you can browse Job Jumpstart for other ideas and suggestions of what to do next.