Leaving Your Job Gracefully

How to leave a job gracefully…

No matter what the reason for the transition, your tenure, your role, or the number of professional years under your belt, it’s imperative you work hard to leave a job gracefully. It’s especially important in this day of connectivity through LinkedIn, Facebook and other professional groups where any future employer could likely find a connection to your past employer. Changing fields or leaving the work force entirely? The adage of “don’t burn bridges” still applies - you simply never know where your next steps make take you in a world that feels increasingly smaller.

At Speakeasy, our business communication experts would first urge you to be as transparent and forthcoming as possible once your plans begin to take shape. In a small business or role with defined cycles, it might mean speaking up as the process for accepting your new job unfolds. That likely means communicating something earlier than the traditional two weeks’ notice. Having the maturity and forethought to volunteer information will speak volumes about your character as an employee.

Providing your current employer with a long notice period, perhaps even in advance of accepting another position, may not feel appropriate or may cause you to worry about potential negative consequence, but nothing can replace transparency. Before having the conversation with your current employer, identify a few clear next steps that need to be implemented immediately to ensure a seamless departure. Then be prepared to discuss how you will oversee this transition when you offer your resignation. Looking after the business needs as well as your own is a great way to demonstrate your maturity as you end the relationship.

Finally, don’t let yourself become the target of gossip in the office. Practice the self-awareness and self-control it takes to avoid public “water cooler” comments, negative email and especially online chatter about why you are leaving … and avoid discussing any of the faults you may have found with the company.  Today it’s easier than ever for people to follow a trail of poor behavior which accomplishes nothing but sabotaging your next steps.

Our parting advice: Leave the dramatic endings to the movies and dig deep with authentic and transparent communication to ensure you leave on the high road.

Tags: communication ,