The answer in short is no! Quitting a job is a choice that successful people often have to make. This article gives some helpful tips on how to leave a job without leaving a bad impression. Don’t burn a bridge when you are building your career.
We’ve all dreamt about it at some point in our lives – being able to tell a boss we hate to stick their job where the sun doesn’t shine. If you haven’t felt like that before, or dreamt it, then you are blessed!
But seriously, when it comes to resigning from a job, you have to do it the right way. Many industries are incestuous, and someone always know someone else so the last thing you want to do is commit career suicide with unnecessary rudeness that gives someone enough ammunition to scupper any chance you have of getting another job!
Sometimes it’s an easy choice to leave a company. However, one of the most important choices that you can make in your career is to leave your current employer in the right way. Like any other relationship, there are faults and virtues with every company. At the end of a relationship, people tend to focus on the faults.
Breaking up can be hard to do
When you leave a company, it is like breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Regardless of how you do it, there will still be emotions – good and bad. The longer the relationship, the deeper the feelings, so keep this in mind when planning the words you’ll use to resign in person and on paper. People express their emotions in different ways so be prepared to respond with compassion.
It really is a small world
It’s not unusual to get a job on the back of someone you know – the fact that you have worked with someone who your new employer knows, has heard of respects may be enough for another company to give you a chance over other candidates who may have more experience than you do.
This is why it’s important to stay professional in how you speak about your employer at an interview…as tempting as it is to debrief about what a nightmare they are, you might be shooting yourself in the foot if that person is respected.
Here are some tips on managing resignations at work:
1. DO write and give a simple resignation letter
Its good practice to write a resignation letter to your line manager and, perhaps, your Personnel or HR department, if possible. This will detail when you intend to leave the company, and say something nice about your experience of working for the company – no sarcasm!
2. DON’T say anything negative about the company or anyone working for the company
I always find it intriguing how people who wouldn’t even acknowledge your existence in corridors, in the office kitchen,mon the tube, ins queue buying lunch all of a sudden have a lot to say to you when you’re leaving…beware! Disgruntled employees may seek you out during this time to air their negative feelings about the company or people working for the company. Again, try to resist the temptation to entertain these conversations. It is likely that your comments will be shared with others, and it’s not worth the risk.
3. DO give as much advance notice as possible to allow for a smooth transition
Typically, this is two to four weeks, sometimes more if you have a very senior position. Bear in mind that it’s also possible that the company will ask you to leave immediately, especially if you’re going to work for a competitor. This is nothing personal and should not be considered an insult.
3.DO work hard until you leave
Even though you’ve mentally moved onto your new job and every day you work off your notice period feels like it’s taking a century longer, you still have an obligation to work and it won’t look good if you start to get sloppy during your last days working for the company.
4. DON’T take anything that isn’t yours when you’re leaving
Whether it’s a stapler, a book that belongs to the company, copy paper, or paper clips…leave them behind. A boss you hate would love to land you in trouble if they caught you doing this, and your professional integrity will be ruined. While you’re at it, tidy up a bit.
5. DO make yourself available for your replacement
If the company hires your replacement before you leave, you may have to train them. Even after you have departed, it’s a good idea to leave a phone number where you can be reach with times that it is acceptable to call – its just good practice, and shows professionalism. Don’t be tempted to do the exact opposite and show them the wrong way of doing everything to get back at your boss…the new recruit hasn’t actually done anything to you personally, have they?
6. DON’T abuse email, the telephone, or the internet during your last days…no matter how bored you are, or no matter how little work you have to do.
There’s no reason that you still can’t be ‘friends’ when it’s over. If you are make an effort to maintain a good reputation with the company, their suppliers, their customers, and your colleagues, it will pay off considerably. It may not happen overnight away, but your paths may cross again in the future and if you have burnt your bridges entirely, you’ll regret it.