How To Say Goodbye Gracefully

Six things to do before you quit your job

6 thinks Quit JobCongratulations! After months of searching you finally found the perfect job. During the interview process you felt a connection with your future boss and the feeling was mutual. Now comes the not so fun part of saying goodbye to your current employer.

Even if your boss is the devil incarnate you should do your best to leave on good terms. You never know when you’ll need a recommendation or when your paths may cross again. Here are six ways to ensure you’ll leave with your reputation intact.

Tell your boss first

No matter what your relationship has been with your boss always tell him or her you are leaving before you tell your coworkers. You don’t want your boss to hear about your new job though the rumor mill. It will only serve to make you look bad. Many industries are smaller than you think and you never know who knows who. Your current boss may be friends with a future employer.

Just share the facts

Giving your notice is not the time to air every grievance you’ve had during your tenure. Refrain from dumping your emotional baggage, making accusations or reciting a laundry list of complains. Be clear and concise when talking to your boss or HR. Focus on sharing information and facts that can be verified rather than generalities. Make a list before you give notice to help keep yourself on track.

Protect yourself

Before you quit make sure you don’t have a noncompete agreement in place that will prevent you from accepting your new position. Not only might your previous employers sue you if you break a noncompete agreement, they may be able to sue your new employer as well. If you have questions contact your nearest labor office or see an attorney.

Get your bonus

It may not be a good idea to leave before you get your bonus. Companies pay bonuses as an incentive so if you leave before you receive your bonus your employer may look for any excuse not to pay you. Also, some companies have written policies that say you must be employed with them at the time the bonus is paid in order to receive it. Check your company’s guidelines.

Give your boss notice

Remember the golden rule of leaving any job: Don’t burn bridges. Be sure to give your employer enough notice so that they are not left hanging. If possible, offer to help find and train your replacement. While you may be tempted to slack off once you’ve resigned don’t do it. Give your best until the end of your last day.

Don’t brag. Your next job may be the perfect opportunity with an awesome company and the best boss ever. But, there’s no need to share that with your current boss and coworkers. However, long you’ve been with your current employer there’s no reason to let your boss and coworkers know how happy you are to be leaving. That’s what having drinks with your BFF is for.

Having a new job is exciting. Whatever your reason for making a move – a bump in salary or more flexibility or whatever – make sure that you leave your current position on the best terms possible. Leaving gracefully is about more than not burning bridges, it’s about moving on with your integrity intact.

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.

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