In many ways, your coworkers grow into something similar to an extended family. You work together, laugh together, get stressed together, and work towards common goals. But sometimes, things don’t always go according to plan, or perhaps your plan simply changes.
Regardless of where you came from or where you’re headed, you are constantly growing as a person and sometimes you grow right out of your job. Whether you’re interested in a new location, different career, change of pace, or just can’t stand your job, there are some guidelines to adhere to when leaving a company.
Six Ways to Tie Up Job Ends
1. Give proper notice—in person
While technology makes our lives easier in certain aspects, communicating face to face carries more weight than leaving a voicemail or sending an e-mail. Although two weeks is standard for most jobs, give more than two weeks if you work a position that requires a specialized skill set because it may take longer to find a replacement.
2. Keep working hard and stay focused
Don’t mentally check out before you leave. Remember that you’re still there to work and give the job your all before moving onto a new assignment. Refrain from talking too much about where you’re going because your first priority is still to perform your job well. Also, be courteous with your timing. While a change in jobs is usually for your own benefit, remain mindful of projects your company is working on. If there is a big event or project that is near completion, you should still maintain the initiative to complete the job and work towards an end result with your team.
3. Cover your bases, including your replacement
This is more than just ensuring your final paycheck is correct. Make sure your personal emails and belongings are disposed of, and most importantly, offer to help with your replacement. Leave notes, tips, tricks—anything that will help your replacement transition into your old position with confidence and ease. It would even be considerate if you allotted some time to train a replacement yourself.
4. Maintain positive relationships
Leaving a job doesn’t mean you’re cleansing yourself of all former coworkers. No matter how much you may despise your job, your boss, the company, or your colleagues, don’t burn bridges as you exit, regardless of whether or not you’re confident you’ll never see these people again. The world can be a small place, and you never know when you may run into a former colleague or need them for a reference.
5. Use the exit interview as an opportunity to grow
In order to grow, you must first be prepared. Be able to explain what you gained from working at the firm, what challenged you, what discouraged you, what you can take from this job to apply to your next one. Also keep in mind that compliments can go a long way. After you can answer those things, ask what your strengths are, what you could improve upon, how you worked with others. Each job is a learning experience, after all.
6. Say thank you
Whether thank you means baking the office your famous peanut butter cupcakes or leaving former colleagues handwritten notes, be sure to thank everyone for your time spent together and wish them well in future endeavors.
By covering these bases, you are not only strengthening connections but building yourself a platform to begin your next venture in an emotionally and professionally sound place.