The latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reported that there was little change from the prior month: with 7.3 million open jobs. The number of workers who were hired, quit or laid off was also little changed from May. Here is a summary of key data from the report:

  • People hired: 5.7 million
  • People who left their jobs (total): 5.5 million
  • People who left their jobs (voluntarily quit): 3.4 million
  • People who left their jobs (layoff or involuntary reason): 1.7 million
  • People who left their jobs (retirement or other reason): 345,000

For candidates that possess the right mix of skills, the hiring market remains strong. You might be considering new career opportunities given the fact that there are more vacant positions than unemployed people in the U.S. right now. There were 3.4 million people who voluntarily left their positions in June, indicating that many employed professionals feel confident about their ability to find a better job.

If you are leaving your job, it’s important you do so with grace. Think long-term. You can’t afford to burn any bridges and damage your professional reputation. Here are some tips:

  • Give Adequate Notice
    Give your manager some time to prepare for your departure by letting her know you’ve accepted another job opportunity at least two weeks before you leave.
  • Think Long-Term
    It’s the oldest saying in the book: Don’t burn bridges. While trashing your boss or coworkers may feel gratifying at the moment, once you speak the incriminating words, you can never take them back — yet people will always remember them. Not only do you need your former employer as a reference, but it is very possible you will run into someone connected with your old job in the future — either as a coworker, client, supervisor or at a fundraiser or work event.
  • Be wary of a Counteroffer
    There are likely good reasons you’ve decided to leave your job. Even if your current employer offers you more money or a promotion to stay, it’s usually best not to accept a counter offer. The issues that led you to seek employment elsewhere are likely going to resurface again.
  • Finish Strong
    Don’t go out with a whimper. Wrap up any projects that you can and offer to train your replacement. Create a detailed overview of where each project stands, your contact’s information and any outstanding issues that need to be addressed.

Remember, your final days in a job can leave a lasting impression. By being diplomatic and diligently tying up all loose ends, you’ll end on a positive note. You’ll also be in a good position to maintain valuable connections with colleagues and managers that you’ll likely need for future job recommendations.