Looking for a job is a tedious and time consuming process. But leaving one is even more difficult. Maybe you are not satisfied with your salary, working conditions or just your co-workers. Your boss might be too harsh on you. The workload may be more and the deadlines too tight. Or you may have found a better opportunity for more growth. But before leaving a job, one should be aware of the implications as well. Your current employer will want to know the reason/s for quitting and the prospective employer may be interested in knowing that why did you move on. Then how do you get yourself out from a situation like this?
1. The official contract:
Giving a two weeks notice is considered standard in the industry if you want to leave your job. But remember to go through the official contract of the company before resigning, as all companies have a different resignation policy. Some may even require you to leave immediately.
2. Contemplate pros and cons:
Before leaving, be absolutely sure about your decision that if it is right or not. It is very important to make right decision at work. If unsure “shadowing” the staff may be helpful.
3. Keep your thoughts to yourself:
Once you have made up your mind to quit the job, do not start informing the whole office of your departure until your supervisor gets to know. Give time to your boss to absorb the news. Also, think of ways to communicate the same to the others.
4. Fix a meeting with your boss:
Respectfully asking your boss for a moment of his/her time is advisable or you can fix a meeting for the same day or the next. If there is a lot going on in the office, wait for the opportune moment when your boss will have a few moments to spare.
5. Inform your boss first:
Inform your boss, in person that you have decided to quit your job. It might be difficult for you to have this conversation and you might feel very nervous. When in front of the boss, try and keep the tone of the conversation professional, simple and complimentary. Depending on your position, your boss might give you a counter offer, so you need to consider few things before accepting it . Such situations are most likely to arise and should be thought of beforehand.
6. The date of leaving:
The expected last date of employment should be stated clearly so as to prevent any unambiguity.
7. Steps at the end of the meeting:
Thank your boss for the guidance and the opportunities provided to you. Irrespective of the informal office culture, do not forget to shake hands while leaving. Plan out the rest of the process and keep a letter of resignation handy to be given to the appropriate party, which is the upper management like the Human Resource Department of your boss.
8. Remain Professional:
There is nothing wrong in looking for better development opportunities, so one should not be guilty of leaving the job. One should try to do so gracefully without creating more trouble for themselves or the employer. The employer also has to safeguard the interest of their company. Do not get emotional as you do not want to leave with a bitter experience. Also, you would not ever want to burn bridges as you are leaving.
Do not get angry or argue if you are asked to leave immediately. Remain courteous and thank your boss for giving you the opportunity to work in that organization.
9. Implications of getting creative:
Giving a two to three weeks’ notice has become a popular trend. People are finding creative ways to submit their resignation letters. It may be a formal letter, a sticky note on the desk of your boss, note on a cake or uploading a video via YouTube. Before doing it, think of the implications . Involving people in your personal matters is not advisable in such situations.
10. Keep explanations ready:
Once everybody is aware of your decision to leave, they are most likely to ask you reasons for the same. So you should be well prepared to answer such questions. One of the ways of saying so can be, “ I have so enjoyed my time here, but this opportunity presented itself and will allow me to grow my skills in a new way” will help you paint your decision in a positive light, as said by a career specialist.
11. Personally inform co- workers and mentors:
After informing your boss, it is ideal that you inform your special co-workers, work friends and mentors face- to- face. It might be hurtful to them if they get to know of your decision to leave through the office grapevine. These people have been influential and contributed to your growth in many ways than one. This special relationship with colleagues will transcend the current employment and as you move on, you will want to preserve these relationships. Other people can be informed later on.
12. Say your goodbyes:
Even though you are no longer going to remain a part of that organization, do not say anything negative about the company or share your bad experiences . Remember that everybody else is staying except you. Sometime in your life, you might cross paths with these people. This happens mostly in the case of small industries. Remember to tell people that they were helpful and that you enjoyed dealing with them.
- Connect with LinkedIn: Previously if you were not connected with your co- workers, then this can be a nice time to do so.
- E- Mail: Sending e- mails is a nice and professional way to communicate information. There is no need to inform everybody if there are a large number of people in the organization.
- Brief message: It is not advisable to brag or criticize. Say your goodbyes in a positive manner as you have to move on.
- Friendly tone: This farewell letter is personal and casual, rather than official.
- Include contact information: Do not forget to include phone number and e- mail address in the farewell letter so that your co- workers can stay in touch with you.
13. Offer help in the transitory process:
It is important that you remain in the good books of your employer and leave a good impression as your future employers may contact the past employer/s for a reference. Volunteer to train your replacement whether your boss asks you to or not. Show that you are concerned about the goals and development of the company. By keeping in mind the company’s interests and making the transition process smooth for everybody in the organization, you will be able to promote yourself as a team player. Inform via a personal letter or an e- mail reassuring your team that you won’t leave them stuck up with extra work.
14. If staying longer:
If at all your employer asks you to stay for a longer period of time so that the transition process becomes easy and if it is feasible for you, consider asking for a letter of introduction or a recommendation letter that is positively written to be given to you during the period of your stay.
15. Stay efficient till the end:
During the last two weeks, do not slack off. It is important to still work effectively and efficiently to tie up loose ends. Just because you are leaving, you do not have the right to create troubles for your employer and co- workers. Time will pass quickly if you do hard work and you will be able to maintain the hard earned reputation you had built over the course of time. Finish all your current projects and prepare guidelines for your replacement.
16. Re- organize cabin and duties:
Get appreciation even while leaving by following this simple step. This is both a considerate and respectful thing to do and your boss and co- workers will like it. Creating a record of the important documents, listing location of files of long projects and other essentials will help your replacement to get accustomed to the work more quickly and also he/she may want to know about your previous projects. Ensure that the files are labeled properly, in order and can be located easily. If working in a team, the duties and responsibilities will have to be re- allocated.
17. Recommend suitable person for the job, if any:
You may recommend a trusted and skilled friend for the empty post. Hence, the employer will be assured that the company is in good hands. This will also show your devotion to the company. It is much like the case of leaving your pet with a trusted relative or friend.
18. Keep record of important exchanges:
Before handing in your notice, keep samples of important work done by you or any other e-mail exchanges that might be of help later on. All this should be done beforehand as you will no longer have access to the work e-mail or the company’s network. So, forward those e-mails to a personal id and collect necessary documents.
Never take away anything belonging to the company or leak out any confidential information related to the company. Samples may come in handy for your portfolio or important exchanges record.
19. Keep it simple:
In general, it is advisable that one should not delve into the reasons for leaving and the same should not be disclosed to the supervisor or the co- workers. The reasons should be kept non- confrontational and neutral. Do not be straightforward and bluntly state that you hate your job or do not like your boss as this leaves a bad impression.
Try to be non- specific wherever you can but don’t lie. The upper management must be made aware of the legitimate complaints such as the working environment or the supervisor. Be very specific in mentioning such things and save a copy for yourself. Follow up action may or may not be taken but this information may be useful to whoever takes up the job next.
20. Be aware of the benefits:
You might be eligible for certain perks like a severance package or the option to collect unemployment benefits. If you have not found a new job then these might be a blessing in disguise. Resigning disqualifies you from receiving certain perks but these can be available sometimes while your hunt for a new job is on.
21. Be prepared for the future:
Ideally, you should have another job lined up if you are planning to leave the current job. That ways you remain financially secure and not remain unemployed during that duration. Also, there are no awkward holes in your resume. Your search for the next job should begin immediately after you start planning to quit the current job. Even if you do not have an opportunity, you should still have a plan about what you are going to do until the next job.
Think about the type of job that you want to have, go through your network base, make a list of previous achievements or activities, make sure your resume is up to date and if there is anything you can do to enhance your existing skills or learn new ones.
22. Friday is the best day:
Friday is the most suitable day to break such kind of information to your boss. Friday, being the end of the workweek gives plenty of time for negotiation and allows perfect time for discussions to take place. Processing and regrouping can then be done on weekends.
23. Reflect upon achievements:
Mention your work and your achievements and that you are proud of them in your resignation letter. It is important because your letter will become a part of the many unused files along with negative remarks if any from the seniors. If you ever apply for a job in the same company, these achievements will benefit you as the accomplishments will be noted. This is the first thing to be seen when your file is assessed.
These steps help you to quit your job gracefully without any bad experiences and also leave you in a good stand in both the previous and the future employers.