If you’ve made the decision to move on from your current job, the second most important decision you’re going to make it is how you do it. It’s critical to handle this process as smoothly as possible because it can have a direct effect on your next career, even if you’ve already accepted a position elsewhere or you’re moving industry entirely.
The majority of people will cite the importance of ‘references’ or ‘future employment opportunities’ at a company as reasons to leave on good terms, but there’s other less obvious ones.
For instance, a member recently shared a story with us about how they had quit their job at a big infrastructure company to start up their own promotional design company. They had not been happy in the corporate world, but made sure they left on good terms and stayed in touch with their former colleagues. Several years later that big infrastructure company became their biggest client and they maintain that had they not left on good terms “there’s no way I could have approached them”.
Bottom line – it’s a small world. Your current colleagues could be your future colleagues, bosses, clients or family members (!).
So, with that in mind here’s 5 ways to ease your exit from your current job:
The standard amount of notice time to give employers is 2 weeks, but give more time if you can.
Why? Your employer needs to find your replacement and catch up on all your existing projects – not an easy task. If you give them more lead time this shows that you’ve considered this fact and it will help them find your replacement faster and make the transition smoother. Remember smooth = good.
Notify the right people
If you can, resist the temptation to ‘tweet’ your intentions or tell the entire office before you’ve spoken to your boss (think Chris Bosh).
You’re doing your superior a disservice if they have to find out from someone else. You may not have got along well with your boss, but they should be the first person you speak to.
Write a letter
Be sure to write a formal letter and acknowledge the people who gave you the opportunity at the company in the first place. A little flattery will get you everywhere and it’s important to have something official that both you and the company can retain.
People leave companies for different reasons, but it’s often because they believe they’re moving on to a better opportunity. You do yourself no favours by rubbing this in with your colleagues, which includes saying things like “I’m going to be earning x% more now” or “I get to travel to Madrid every weekend” or “I don’t have to work for that #$#%# anymore”.
Be humble and considerate about your decision. Your decision is personal to your situation and your colleagues may enjoy what they do.
Stay in touch
Keep in touch with former colleagues any way you can, they’re an important part of your personal and professional network. You can’t connect with everyone, but maintain as many relationships as you can.
Photo: Above photograph used under CC license
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