5 Tips to Help you Get it Right

Leaving a company can be a bit like breaking up from a significant relationship and while much focus is put on how to get a job, how to resign is not often covered. Regardless of whom breaks up with whom, there will still be emotions. The longer the work relationship, the deeper the feeling will be when you finally close the door on that particular chapter of your life and move on.

Like any relationship, there are things that were good, not so good and some things that were plain awful – and so it is every job or company. At the end of a relationship, people tend to focus on the faults. Sometimes it’s an easy choice to leave a job however, one of the most important choices that you can make in your career is to leave your current employer in the right way.

It’s a small world…

It’s always been a small world especially if you work within a particular industry or sector – but now with social media, you can expect to bump into your ex-boss or ex-colleagues virtually as well as in person. Social networking means that your old work colleagues may still be connected to your old boss – meaning that even after you leave, your old boss may be privy to what you are saying about them. Therefore anything you say in relation to your job or employer has the power to take on a significance that may not be intended – so if you intend to resign and haven’t yet done so formally, don’t post it on your facebook page!

Here are a few do’s and don’ts that may help make your transition easier and leave the right impression.

Get your new offer in writing before resigning

Don’t resign until you have the offer in writing. Things can and do go wrong with verbal offers. So cover all bases and make sure you get your offer signed, sealed and delivered before taking any action.

Keep it short and sweet

DO write and give a simple resignation letter to your immediate boss and your Human Resources department, if appropriate. The letter should include the following: your last day on the job, open items that you need to complete prior to leaving, and any work that you will need to hand-off to another department or colleague. By putting a few key items in writing, it gives you a chance to pre-play the discussion with your boss.

DON’T say anything negative

Whilst it may be a massive relief to finally kick that company or job to the kerb, leaving your job under a cloud of negativity may be harmful to your reputation so avoid saying anything negative about the company. Whilst this is a good policy to employ at all times, it is even more critical when you are leaving. Disgruntled colleagues may seek you out during this time to air their negative feelings about the company or people working for the company so resist the temptation to entertain these conversations. It is likely that your comments will be shared with others.

Exit stage left

Many organisations offer the opportunity for leavers to attend an exit interview or complete an exit questionnaire detailing their reasons for leaving. Whilst it’s tempting not to fill this in – many companies realise that if they don’t take the time to investigate the reasons why employees leave, the organisation may continue to lose top talent can leave them facing hefty recruitment bills with potential damage to the brand.

Although an exit interview may seem a little too late to change your mind, exit interviews and questionnaires can also provide you with the appropriate forum for you to have your views considered in a professional manner and provide closure.

DO give as much advance notice.

Use your best judgment to decide how much notice you need to give. Be aware that is also possible that the company will ask you to leave immediately, especially if you’re going to work for a competitor.

How do you want to be remembered?

It’s perfectly natural to get “short-timer’s disease” as you have already mentally moved onto the new position. Whether discussing movies, books, or relationships; people generally remember the beginning and end more than the middle so finish up your projects, tidy your desk and leave a good a good impression at the end.

DON’T abuse e-mail, the telephone, or the internet during your last days. Be sure to keep your communication as professional as you have during your notice period.

If you’re careful to maintain a good reputation with the company, their suppliers, their customers, and employees; it will pay off considerably. It may not happen right away, but your paths will cross again so don’t burn your bridges.