Moving On: How to Quit Your Job with Grace
Finally! The day has arrived when you’ve finally decided to make the big announcement of quitting your job to your colleagues and boss. However, your mind is a mess and you don’t have a clear plan of action on how you should handle the procedure. It’s quite normal to feel awkward and nervous before taking the big step.
You are undoubtedly filled with bittersweet emotions and hence, are looking for the perfect way to quit your job gracefully without impacting any relationships in a negative way.
The following guidelines will educate you on all the required steps that you should follow for a painless exit strategy.
ENVISION A STRATEGY BEFORE THE BIG DAY
Preparation for taking the big step of quitting your job requires certain protocols to be executed to ensure a painless and convenient way of leaving the company with grace.
Prepare a speech, have a few words with your boss on how the time was well spent, offer your gratitude to all your colleagues, and be prepared for a counter offer that may be offered to you at the last minute by the powers-that-be.
Here are the most important aspects to consider before you post your final notice.
Let your Boss be the First to know
Your boss happens to be the most influential figure during your time of employment, hence, it’s your responsibility to notify him before spreading the news to your colleagues. It’s important to consider that your boss could have many important projects lined up and may not be available to have a one-on-one session when you approach him.
Schedule an appointment with him or let him know that you have something important to talk to. You could also try catching him at the beginning of the day when things aren’t too busy, this allows you to pour your heart out and explain why you are leaving the company. Your boss may have a few words of inspiration and might even try to offer you advice on your new job. This is valuable advice from someone far more experienced and you should seriously consider it.
Not every employee has a positive relationship with their bosses, nonetheless, it’s considered impolite to send your notice by e-mail or by SMS. During your recommendation letter, your boss may not have the best things to write about you and this can affect your prospects in your new job.
Refrain from offering feedback on other employees to your boss on the day of departure, you never know when you may need their help or end up crossing paths in the future. Also, keep the matter strictly professional and offer a personal note of thanks without the need for gifts and other festivities.
Here’s a summarized video by Evan Carmichael on how to tell your boss that you are quitting the company.
Provide Backup in Transition Planning When Required of You
Ensure all your work commitments, project reports, business follow-ups, and client deadlines are completed before you quit the job. This can positively affect your relationship with your co-workers and managers. You can be the role model for the company that affects future candidates on how to complete their work tasks before posting their resignation.
If another employee has been assigned as part of a transition plan to replace you, politely oblige and showcase the day-to-day schedule on how the new employee can ease into your position. Your fellow colleague will be grateful for your helping hand and your boss will be sure to add in a detailed description in your recommendation letter.
By keeping a tidy work desk on the last day of work, you demonstrate that you value your position in the company even to the final day. Being messy shows a lack of discipline and can showcase a poor code of conduct by you. Remember, by following appropriate protocols in the workplace, you instill positive guidelines into yourself and become a valuable member of any company you choose to join.
Be Prepared to Take up a Counter-offer
During your exit interview, a counter-offer, by increasing your paycheck, can arise if you are considered valuable to the company. It’s not unusual for companies to bribe their employees with a promotion if their services are in great demand. Instead of declining, request your seniors for a day or two to think over it and carefully consider the counter-offer.
It’s in your best interests to weigh the pros and cons of a counter-offer over your new job. The biggest advantage is that you get to increase your pay without having to move desks and you are already accustomed to the workings of your company. If you have gained a promotion, consider the responsibilities of the new position and the additional workload that comes with it.
It’s alright to be bold and ask for a higher pay when faced with a counter-offer. Remember, they are the ones that need your services, so it’s alright to hike the offer by a few numbers. However, don’t be selfish in your endeavors and ask for more than you are worth, this can have negative consequences.
If you’re stuck with your principles and no hike in your salary can stop you from pursuing your goals, then politely decline and offer your sincerest gratitude and proceed to move on.
Don’t Quit Before You’ve Made Peace with Your Co-workers
Professional rifts or a former feud with a colleague can cause confusion on whether you should be the better person and apologize or storm off leaving them in the dust. In such situations, it’s always better to extend a hand of friendship and let bygones be bygones. After all, after a month in your new job, you won’t remember any of the past controversies, but you can leave your present job with a clean conscience at the very least.
Who knows, you could also find a friend for life just by offering a second chance at starting again. It’s always the better move to create more professional contacts in your career than to lose a few due to an ego clash.
While its normal to expect some people to react differently, for example — them being happy knowing of your departure. Do understand that their presence has no place in your future and such employees are better off not being a part of your career prospects. You will always be happy to know that if you’ve been a valuable employee, you will have a dozen friends for every resentful co-worker.
Create a Thank-you Note to Express your positive feelings
You’ve obviously not made it this far in your professional career all by yourself. Take the time to make a list of all the people who’ve helped you and assisted you when the times were tough. Remember that colleague who once took your shift because you had a party to rush off to? — Add them to your list.
By remembering the little positive things and writing a personalized thank-you note to your co-workers, you provide them with happiness thanks to your little gesture. Also, be sure to leave your contact information behind and do stay in touch with them. You never know when you could need their help, or you could reach out to help them by informing them of an opportunity.
Refrain from bragging about your new job in front of your colleagues. It’s great that you made it this far in your professional venture but that doesn’t give you the right to make your co-workers feel bad. Leave the office on good terms and do offer to help your colleagues in any project they are working on during your 2-week notice, if you have the time to spare. There’s no better way to express gratitude than to help ease the burden of your fellow comrades.
HELPFUL TIPS TO PREPARE FOR DURING YOUR 2-WEEK NOTIVE PERIOD
The standard 2-week notice period can be an important time for you to execute the above plans while also showcasing your positive abilities. It’s normal for employees to relax and conduct themselves in a non-professional manner by chatting away with their colleagues and not taking their work seriously. After all, the new job is yours, what could go wrong, right?
You have every reason to prove yourself to ensure the recommendation letter that reaches you has all your positive qualities mentioned. If your boss decides to write an awful review of your professional qualities, your new boss may immediately be concerned and may even consider firing you.
Hence, it’s important to follow protocol and pay specific attention to the following points.
Offer Feedback During Your Exit Interview
Was the company able to fulfill your career requirements? Were you able to learn new skills from the company? Is the workforce within the company up to the standards? Care to share a few points on how to improve the company? These are some of the questions that employers are looking to learn from their employees to ensure a quality working environment.
As an employee, it’s your responsibility to offer feedback to improve the current state of the company. For example, If there is a much-needed equipment that could improve production and ease the workload of your co-workers, then write it down in the feedback letter.
On a personal front, do mention what the company taught you over the years and how satisfied you were with the company. These questions can help a company grow and make appropriate decisions during the next board meeting. Most companies tend to review the feedback forms of their past employees. This allows them to better assess the situation and make the necessary changes to bring improvement.
Remember to always put your thoughts on paper and not discuss any improvements with your co-workers. It’s impolite to talk about the flaws with your office mates when you are quitting your job. It also goes without saying that being honest in your feedback can really boost the company’s performance over a period.
Maintain a Friendly Demeanor
During the last 2-weeks of your job, it’s easy to lose yourself by becoming selfish, after all, you have no reason to fear anyone. This behavior can call for an ugly confrontation and a lot of feuds that can cause you to be mentally harassed. By being friendly, you can gain brownie points from your seniors that can affect your recommendation letter in a positive light.
By complimenting your company and talking about it in a positive sense, you can boost the morale of your comrades and help them achieve even greater heights. There’s no greater happiness than having your junior co-workers call you and ecstatically talk about the promotion they just received and how your motivational words had a hand in it.
Don’t forget your company gave you a job and a means of security when you most needed it, it’s your turn to pay it back. Never ask your office mates to follow suit by lecturing them on the negative drawbacks of the company. If word spreads around to your seniors, they won’t find it a least bit amusing.
Maintain a friendly appearance even if you don’t feel like it, after all, it’s just 2-weeks of showing up to work. And when the final day comes, don’t forget to say goodbye to everyone and leave the office feeling like a champ for enduring it all.
Different People Will Provide Different Reactions: Maintain a Straight Face
Let’s face it, it’s unlikely for all your co-workers to react the same way to hearing the news of your departure. While most would be emotional enough to cherish the fond memories they had with you, others may be elated at you vacating the post. In these times, it’s important to never lose your cool or act in an unprofessional manner.
Since your employer is legally obliged to terminate your contact information linked to the company, it’s important to share your personal contact number and e-mail with your co-workers on the last day of work. This is so that you can stay connected to them even after you’ve exited the company. Making professional contacts is incredibly valuable and it’s considered a good practice to keep a list of all known associates you’ve worked for.
If you have any mentors or sponsors from another department, it’s important to schedule an individual meeting and ensure you are on good terms and explain the reason for leaving. If there are too many colleagues to individually address within the 2-week period, it’s alright to write a personalized e-mail.
Do remember that the last day of work is an incredibly important day, it’s the last time your co-workers and managers see you in a professional environment and it’s critical to maintain a friendly demeanor if you want to be remembered in a positive sense.
Be Regular Until the Last Working Day
It might seem like the easy route out by posting your two-week notice and not showing up for work until the very last day of work. This can prove disastrous for your career and you could end up receiving a lawsuit by the company. The 2-week period is an important time frame that allows your employer to find another candidate that can replace you. Hence, it’s necessary that you show up during this time and complete your outstanding work commitments.
By being irregular, your employers will have no other choice than to blacklist you for being an unprofessional candidate. All the years of working tirelessly can mean nothing in the end if you end up being lackadaisical.
Create a 2-week regimen with great emphasis on punctuality, show up for work earlier than usual and complete any unfinished projects. Ensure you have all your reports submitted and leave no stone unturned for your manager or boss to feel disappointed in you during your last day of work.
BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THAT YOU LEARNT IN YOUR TIME WITH THE COMPANY
The first thing to learn in your professional career is to never forget the roots that helped you grow into the tree you are today. The best way you can thank your current company is by working hard until the last minute of the final day and ensuring all your co-workers are treated with respect upon your departure. Offer your last-minute goodbyes to every member of the company, no matter how small their role was. You never know when you could run into each other again on a professional front and you wouldn’t want your previous negative encounter to ruin things for you.
If you’ve been asked to serve a longer notice period than the required 2-week duration, you can politely decline and explain that a longer notice period clashes with your joining date for the new job. However, it’s your duty to ensure you leave no pending work for the employee that replaces you, to take over.
Don’t forget to collect any employee benefits you may have missed on the last day. This could include unused vacation pay, sick pay, pension plan, insurance, tax rebate, etc. It’s also in your best interests to return any company property that might be in your possession — company phone, keys, documents, security access codes, etc.
If you are confused about making the right decision on whether to quit or stay with your current job, this video segment by John Baybay is the right guide to alleviate your situation.
Turning in your resignation doesn’t necessarily have to be a stressful experience. Make sure the details of your new job are finalized before you submit your final papers. Create a checklist to ensure the transition process is executed smoothly. The resignation letter should strictly be professional and must be written with a tone of gratitude in mind.
When in doubt, always refer to the internet for ideas on how to write a professional resignation letter. By following the steps in this guide, you can be sure you’ve managed to impress your boss and your co-workers and give them a full understanding of how to sign off professionally.
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