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The time has come to quit your job. Whatever the circumstances you may have mixed feelings about leaving. Not only do you have to say goodbye to trusted colleagues and get ready to embark on a new journey, you also have tie up loose ends where you are now. Regardless of how you feel about the company you’re leaving; when it comes time to quit your job maintaining a professional attitude is always best.
It’s understandable to be excited about a new career opportunity. Maybe the pay is better, the commute shorter or the benefits more comprehensive. Perhaps you and your new boss hit if off instantly during the interview. Whatever the case may be, you can’t wait to start your new job. If your current situation is less than ideal, it can be especially tempting to forego the formalities and just leave. But it’s never a good idea to burn bridges.
Patricia Siderius, managing director of Executive Outplacement Services at BPI Group has this to say: “Some of the worst ways to quit are by just sending an email, not showing up for work or giving no notice, leaving with a bad attitude, yelling ‘I quit’ in the midst of a heated argument with your boss and walking out of the company.”
Instead giving notice in an email send your boss an email message stating you have something important you’d like to discuss with her and ask if she could pencil you in that day. Then give notice during your face-to-face meeting.
Leaving in the middle of the day or just not showing up for work will not only put your current employer in a rough spot trying to replace you, it could hurt your reputation in your next job. The same goes for leaving during a heated argument with your employer. If word gets around, your behavior will brand you as unprofessional.
If you absolutely feel you cannot even approach your boss to give notice, ask Human Resources to get involved. A neutral party can help smooth over tensions and make sure the parting is amicable and professional.
Once you’ve given your employer notice that you’re leaving, there are a few important etiquette rules to follow. For example, even if you think you’re moving on to a bigger and better company, that doesn’t mean you should flaunt it. Talking about how much bigger your office is going to be or the pay raise you’ll be receiving is unprofessional.
This also isn’t the time to start bad-mouthing your current boss to your coworkers or worse, tell him what you’ve really wanted to say all these years. If you’ve never liked some of your colleagues keep that to yourself as well. It’s never a good idea to burn bridges as you never know what the future will bring
One of the best ways to quit your job is to schedule a face-to-face meeting with your employer and give two weeks notice. This is standard procedure and will give your employer some time to find your replacement. Giving a two-weeks notice will also ensure you have the time to tie up loose ends, say your goodbyes, and leave on a positive note.
If you are on good terms with your employer, he or she may ask you to stay on for a short while to finish up a project or train a new employee. While you’re under no obligation to do this, it’s something to consider if you have a flexible start date with your new employer. It will make a favorable impression and leave the door open for future employment with this company.
It’s also a good idea to write a formal letter of resignation. A resignation letter should be simple, brief (one to two paragraphs), and focused. It should state when you’ll be leaving the company and thank your current employer for opportunities the company afforded you during employment. Now isn’t the time to discuss any problems or emotional reasons for leaving. Those particulars can be spoken of during a face-to-face meeting at a later date.
The best way to do this of course is to sit down with your employer for a face-to-face meeting and then follow up with a formal resignation letter with a copy sent to Human Resources. When leaving any company, it’s important to remain professional and cover your bases, especially if there are any unresolved tensions between yourself and the management.
Also, if you’re on good terms with your employer, don’t forget to ask for references. It’s easy to get so excited about your next job that you neglect some basic necessities. After you’ve given your notice, wait a couple of days, then approach your boss and two trusted coworkers about being references. Updating your list of references can be very helpful should this new position not work the way you’d hoped.
One of the worst mistakes people make when leaving a company is retaliating against their former employer. This includes stealing files, leaking insider information, corrupting computer systems, etc. Stealing “wages” is another form of retaliation. Scott Love of Attorney Search Group says, “I have seen people that continue to receive compensation when they have a short time left and start working for their new venture while still being paid from their old one. It’s not a classy way to do business, and what goes around usually comes around.”
No matter how difficult things have been with the company you’ve been working for, they will only get worse if you choose retaliation of any kind. Taking the high road and leaving on a professional note is always the best policy.
Evaluating your own performance is another good idea. Experts note that many people quit their job without being completely aware of their own role in why things didn’t work out. They blame the company entirely and do not evaluate their own behavior. This mistake can set you up to have the same type of problems in your next position. Nobody likes criticism but if you can gain just one valuable insight on how to improve as an employee during your exit interview, you’ve made big strides.
If this is your first time leaving a job at a large corporation, you may be a bit confused about the process.Maureen Daniek of Coach for Life Change explains, “If you are in a large formal company, you want to give two weeks’ notice in writing—knowing that you may be given an “exit interview” and escorted out of the company on that day.”
Exit interviews and escorts are a way large corporations protect themselves from retaliation by disgruntled employees. The exit interview does two things: It helps them assess your mental and emotional state about leaving the company and helps them to learn how they can improve.
If you were given a key card, this will be taken from you so you no longer have access to the building or certain areas. Again, this is just a precautionary measure and is not meant as a personal attack on you. It’s just important to be prepared for this so you’re not blindsided when you leave.
Now you have a few strategies that will help make a smooth exit. Even if things have been incredibly difficult for you in your current position, you only have a short while longer to endure and a new job to look forward to. When it comes to quitting your job, stay professional and you’ll always come out on top.