The Right Way to Leave Your Job
Posted March 25, 2015 & filed under Job Search
After all your hard work, it looks like everything has finally come together. Your interview was a success and you’ll start your new job in just a short time. Though you might be inclined to ease off the grindstone, your work now still matters. It can either help or haunt your next job search.
Why Your Next Job Search Matters
That’s great, but why worry about future job searches now? Because even good jobs don’t last forever.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American is expected to work about 11 jobs over the course of their working life. It’s a ballpark estimate, but it’s a good reminder that statistically, you’ll be searching again soon.
When you do, events and decisions from your past can have a positive or negative ripple effect.
How to Keep Your Bridges Intact
Your last actions in any given job do one of two things: reinforce a positive impression or trash it. Last impressions can be as important as first impressions.
In fact, when a former boss or coworker is asked about you, their minds will probably reflect back on the last impression you made. Did you respect the job or visibly slack off?
Continued hard work and efficiency in a job you’re leaving is a good PR move. Leave your job on a positive note and people can vouch for your professionalism. Leave your job on a negative note and people will remember your blatant disregard. Burnt bridges are not easily forgotten.
How to Move On with Class
Really, you want to do more than just leave your job with intact bridges. You want to fortify what’s there. To do that, you need to be instrumental to the success of your transition off the job.
Give Two Weeks Notice – Even in a bad job, you want to give them this courtesy. Two weeks give you time to conscientiously wind down any current projects and train someone on how to take the reins.
Help Select Your Replacement – You already know what’s required of the position. Offer to help select your replacement. Screening or even referring an ideal candidate reminds your current employer there’s no ill will and that you still are looking out for the success of the team.
Create a Transitional Document – A guidebook or manual is extremely advantageous when you’re starting a new job. Make sure that your replacement has all the tools to succeed. Include contacts, passwords, internal processes, and helpful tips to sustain your former team’s operational speed.
Participate in an Exit Interview – When leaving your job, the HR department will often conduct an exit interview to gauge the company’s successes and any areas of improvement. This should never be treated like a gripe session. Give professional responses and constructive criticism. Never sling mud.
Say Goodbye to Everyone – The simple act of saying goodbye when you leave your job is powerful. Farewells let people know that you cared. Skip someone, and that person might feel slighted. Remember: the more people who think fondly of you, the more positive references you can get down the road. If and when you return to your job search, you’ll be glad that you did.
by James Walsh