Quit Your Job With Class
The days of walking out and never coming back are over. You’re maturing as a professional and realizing that leaving on a good note is key, whether or not you loved or hated your job.Use all or some of these tips to help you quit your job with class.
Give your employer anywhere from two weeks to one month notice. I say one month depending on the level and involvement of your work. If you’re on good terms with your employer, give longer. This will give your boss enough time to adjust to your leaving and to find your replacement. If you absolutely have to leave sooner, ask if it’s possible. Sometimes, you might be asked to stay around and train your replacement. Be clear about your intentions and flexible with how you’ll end your work.
Be prepared to offer an explanation.
Maybe you just hate your job or the company. You may have found greener pastures with another company. You might have won the lottery. You might have decided to become a full time parent or family care taker. Whatever your reasons are, be sure you can calmly and professionally explain your reasons for leaving. There’s no need to get personal, dramatic, or emotional. If you need to, practice your resignation speech with someone who is not emotionally involved in your decision. This can help you get to the heart of the matter and can create a clear understanding for your resignation.
Clean up your work space.
Clean and organize your work space. This also includes deleting any personal files and emails located on your computer. I always recommend separating personal documents by putting them on an external hard drive and using your personal e-mail address for discussing personal business as companies store information. This will avoid any conflicts of interest or problems down the road. Additionally, save contact information you’ll need in the future.
Don’t say or write anything you’ll regret
No matter how much you hated your colleagues, job, or the company, don’t say it or write it. The immediate gratification of telling off those who have hurt you doesn’t pay off in the long run when you will need a reference or if someone asks about your work in the future. Even if you’ve done the best work in the history of the company, a bad final note can ruin a good track record.
Tie up loose administrative ends
If your company provides 401k, other types of benefits and salary, make sure your human resources manager gives you the necessary paperwork and information to make a smooth transition. If you won’t have health insurance at your next job or between jobs, inquire about COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). Be sure to collect any unused vacation and sick pay, too.
It’s very easy to point out all of the company’s weaknesses as well as the short coming of those you’re leaving behind. When discussing your resignation with others, talk about the positives and simply state that it’s time to move on. You don’t have to give details about your next step or complain about past hurts. Focus on the type of language that will help you leave on a positive note.
Don’t boast about your new job or opportunities.
You may have won the lottery or got a new, awesome job, but this is not the time to make anybody feel bad about your leaving or inferior to yourself.
Ask for a reference.
This doesn’t have to be done right away if you have a good relationship with your former colleagues and plan to continue communication long after leaving, however at some point it will behoove you to ask for a reference. If they agree to provide a reference, ask them to write a page to share with future employers.
Say goodbye to your colleagues.
Before you leave, take a moment to write and send farewell messages to co-workers. If necessary, inform them that you’ll be moving on to a new position or beginning a career transition, retiring, or developing another part of your life. It’s ok to send e-mail messages in lieu of written letters. Additionally, if you wish to stay in contact with certain colleagues, be sure to include your contact information.
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