How to Leave a Job Gracefully
By: AJE Recruiting Specialist
While everyone has a Jerry Maguire fantasy of walking out of the office with flare, you should always approach every aspect of work with professionalism. The way you approach quitting a job can impact your career, so you need to be careful. If you want to leave your job, our experts suggest you follow these steps both before and after you decide to leave.
Before you resign, be one hundred percent certain that this decision is right for you. This is the time where you should weigh the pros and cons of staying or leaving. You should also recognize that once you tender your resignation it will be more difficult to get back on track, should you change your mind. If you've made your decision, then schedule a private discussion with your boss. Open up this discussion by stating that you have been grateful for the opportunity and enjoyed working with him, but you have decided to move on.
Since your boss may serve as a reference or be a member of your professional network, this is not the time to bring up any grievances. While offering up reasons behind your departure is productive, focusing on every negative issue about your job is not productive. This will not sit well with your boss, or remaining employees.
Speaking of co-workers, you do not want to burn any bridges here either. They too can serve as references or be part of your professional network. The best approach is to indicate your departure and then do as much work as possible to assist with any transition.
Many people stop working once they decide to leave a company. This will not serve you well. This approach can tarnish what was once a good reputation. The business world is small and it is not uncommon to run into co-workers again; sometimes they can turn out to be your next boss! If appropriate, leave as much documentation about your job so that any replacement is prepared. This will engender much thanks and admiration from those involved.
Give the appropriate amount of notice. The standard timeframe is two weeks. In some cases, you may be asked to leave earlier. If not, then two weeks notice is considered acceptable.
Send your boss a thank you note and farewell notes to your c-workers. A hand-written note or email outlining your appreciation is acceptable. Be sure to return any company property that you have before you leave. This could include your computer, keys or phones. You do not want to have human resources reaching out to you post-departure.
If you have been asked to participate in an exit interview, do so. Again, this is not a time to outline any grievances about the company. Be positive. Speak well of your boss and co-workers, and make the reason behind your departure about you.
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