13 Jul Dropping the Mic: Leaving Your Job Without Drama
Even the best job opportunities sometimes run their course, and new options become available. Perhaps something more interesting, with better pay, or offering more responsibility. And once you find it, you’ll start counting down the days to leaving your job.
Whatever the reason for moving on, you can’t get the next role without giving notice to your current employer and leaving your job. But if you depart the workplace without thoughtfulness and consideration, you could burn bridges and end relationships that prove useful in the future.
There’s no reason for leaving your job on bad terms, if you consider the following:
Communicate early. It’s tempting if you don’t like your current job to proudly announce that it’s your last day and best of luck to them all. But really, it’s not fair to your colleagues and others who don’t deserve it to have to unexpectedly pick up the pieces of your untimely departure. Two weeks’ notice is typical, and generally the more senior your position, the more notice you should give (or at least offer to stay).
Make an exit plan. No, not your evacuation route from the building. You should wrap up any loose ends that you can before your last day. That might mean finishing projects that are your responsibility, or sending emails to clients and notifying them of who will be taking care of their accounts in the future.
Circulate a list to colleagues, or send to your manager details of any activities you handle on a regular basis – whether it’s the name of the company that delivers the water coolers or the password to your email account (you’ve deleted those personal emails, right?). You can’t make a clean break if you have to keep fielding follow-up emails and calls from your previous employer.
Be gracious. Be polite and courteous on the way out. There’s no point in getting last grievances out now.
[bctt tweet=”As much as you might want to get some final thoughts off your chest before leaving your job, it’s not worth it. Nope, it’s not.” username=””]
No, it’s not. You never know when you might need a favor, and you never know who they know. In so many business circles, the community is smaller than you think. Besides, the greatest way to get even is to get a new job, not leaving your job at the old place with bitterness and rudeness.
Interview on the way out. An exit interview with your manager can be incredibly helpful. Find out what you did well and what you could have improved upon in this role. Don’t get defensive – you’re leaving anyway. But you can go into the next role knowing your strengths and weaknesses – even alerting your new boss to what you want to work on.
Parting thoughts. If appropriate in your workplace, it’s a nice courtesy to send a farewell email. It doesn’t need to be long and it shouldn’t be emotional, but it’s a thoughtful professional gesture to thank your colleagues and employers for the experience gained and opportunity. After all, they did help pay the bills, for however long.
Leaving your job should be done as professionally as starting it.
It’s exciting to go on to a new opportunity, a new company, maybe even a new city. But every role offers some lesson and even if you weren’t paid as much or promoted as much or listened to as much as you would have liked, it’s very possible that the current job helped get you the new one (even if unhappiness is what gave you the motivation to look). So look forward with enthusiasm, but give a polite wave over your shoulder as you go.