Leaving a Job? Here’s How to Do it Right

As a manager who has spent 16 years in the staffing and recruitment industry, I’ve done my fair share of hiring over the years and, unfortunately, have lost a few people I did not want to lose.

Some of those left on good terms and did it professionally. Others, not so much. Leaving a job is a part of life. It’s hard to blame anyone for trying to improve their employment situation, but you always want to leave a positive impression when you move on -- and anytime they recall your name after you’re gone. Here are a few keys to keep in mind if you’re going to resign from your company to pursue a new opportunity:

  • Resign in person. It’s best not to resign over the phone or via e-mail. You’ll demonstrate a level of professionalism and respect to your manager by delivering the message in person. If you’re a remote worker, of course, this may not be possible. Skype or FaceTime may be appropriate in this situation.
  • Keep it positive. Keep your comments upbeat, simple and business-focused. Don’t get into negatives about your manager or the company, and certainly keep emotion out of the conversation. Showing anger or bitterness will leave a poor impression with your manager.
  • Let them know why you’re leaving. Whether it’s for a promotion with another company, better money or a shorter commute, your manager will want to know your motivation for moving on. If you’re leaving a job because of your boss – and this is the case many times – it’s generally better to say you’re going to pursue another opportunity that you feel is a better fit.
  • Don’t badmouth the firm after you leave. Resist the urge to say negative things about the company to other employees that remain with that organization, and don’t write negative comments about the firm on social media. Those comments can burn bridges if you ever want to return to that company, and certainly won’t help if in the future you need references from former colleagues or your manager.
  • Make the transition smooth to the end. Provide sufficient notice to allow for proper transition of your responsibilities – at least two weeks is ideal. It’s always nice to offer up your availability for a follow-up call after your departure. Work as hard during your notice period as you did as a full-time employee. This will preserve your positive reputation when you leave.
  • Don’t recruit from your old firm. Resist the temptation to hire your former coworkers as soon as you start your new job. While it may seem harmless to you, it is damaging to your former employer and can further erode your reputation.

A final thought: When leaving a job, think of a boomerang. It returns and so, too, may you. Leave everything on a professional, positive note so that you have an open door to return to down the road. Many times our circumstances in life change, and things don’t always work out the way we think. Keep that door open. These are just a few of my recommendations and, as always, I appreciate your feedback in our comments section below. Thank you.

Tags: Career RX