You are ditching the long commute or perhaps you’re finally fed up with your aggravating boss. Maybe you are lucky enough to land a job on your dream career field (Quest Search & Selection may have helped you!). Whatever the reason, you have decided to resign from your current job. Ending a professional relationship amicably is not always easy, but it is necessary. Leaving a company on a positive note is useful, if you want to use your employer as a reference in the future or you want to maintain a positive reputation in your industry. A reputation for burning bridges could hurt your career in the future, in fact, it’s highly likely to come back and bite you. Don’t do it, however tempting it may be. Here are some useful tips for leaving your job on a good note.
Make Sure Your New Job Is Lined Up
Just because you had a great interview or have been sought out by a recruitment professional doesn’t mean you should quit. Wait until the offer has been made and the papers have been signed before you hand in your resignation. If you hate your job, you want to leave as fast as possible but make sure everything is signed and legally watertight before you make the plunge.
The exact amount of notice you should give to your employer varies according to your contract and the law of where you are employed. One month is a common notice period and some, especially more senior executives, may have a three-month notice period in their contract. Your new employer is most likely to have asked you about this in your interview process. If you’re on a short notice period and your current employer has treated you well, it is good practice to give additional notice if at all possible. Some companies, particularly those in competitive industries, are known to ask a resigning employee to leave the very same day and will pay you for your notice period. Gardening leave is quite a perk but do not assume you will receive it unless it is clearly stipulated in your contract.
Tell Your Boss First
Allowing your superiors to find out you are about to resign through the rumor mill is unprofessional. The first person you should tell at work is always your boss. Only then should you tell your other coworkers. Make sure that you have written a formal resignation letter and signed it before you start your resignation conversation. Ask to speak to your boss privately and explain the situation. Tell your boss why you want to leave. You don’t need to be emotional about it but, if you have been treated well, let your employer know this and explain that you are sad to leave but you are leaving because and then give the reason. Remember that your boss is human too. She or he may have all sorts of pressure you’re not even aware of and you leaving may be a nightmare for them. As such; that is not your problem and that is what they are paid to handle but be sensitive to their needs and feelings. They will appreciate this and it will pay dividends in the future should you need them for any reason whatsoever.
Tie Up Loose Ends
No one knows your job as well as you do. To prevent a disjointed transition, try to wrap up any long-term projects you have been working on. If this is not possible, leave detailed instructions for your successor to pick up where you left off. This will ease the burden of training for your co-workers. You never know who will reappear in your career so again; do not burn your bridges, but maintain a professional relationship. How would you like to be treated if your co-worker was leaving? Would you want to be left with a whole load of half-finished projects and no idea how to complete them?
Some positions require frequent interaction and co-ordination with people outside of your company. Extend a courtesy email or phone call to clients and vendors and tell them you are leaving. Let them know whom they should contact moving forward. If you have a non-compete clause in your contract, discuss this with your employer first so that you are not in breach of your contract.
Keep Up With Your Responsibilities
Even though you are ecstatic about moving on to your new job, you still need to perform the duties of your current job. Complete your job duties as normal and train your replacement on the essential duties of your position. Try not to talk too much about how wonderful your new employer is as it’s disheartening for your colleagues and could even land you into legal trouble if you have a non-solicit clause in your contract.
Offer To Help
This can range from offering to assist in the recruitment of your replacement, to sit in on interviews, or even to suggest someone you think may be a good fit for the position.
Productive Exit Interview
Regardless of your experience with the company, you should remain professional and constructive in your exit interview. If you have ideas for ways the company can improve, offer your thoughts in a professional and tactful way without becoming accusatory. Thank your boss for the opportunities and growth you have experienced while working for the company. Offer to be available to help should any issues arise in the future.