Quitting your job and moving on is a delicate process. Jobs are like marriages. Sometimes you grow apart and sometimes bad things happen and damage the relationship. But it should be handled with finesse.
The worst thing you can do is burn bridges. You never know if you have to come back. Also, bad behaviour has a way of coming back to you in this world of Facebook and LinkedIn. In today’s uber-connected world, people chat and comment on each other, and yes, follow folks around.
Forbes suggests a number of strategies. First, quit before you quit. Don’t volunteer to head up new initiatives, and wrap up any long-term work you’ve been handling. Another important step is to copy anything you’ll want to keep from your work computer onto a flash drive before you announce your resignation. This is important because many companies want you out the door the day you quit. The next and most important thing is to set aside a time to sit down and talk to your boss. It’s a good idea to shut the door. When you talk, keep it short, sweet and business-like. Even if you can’t stand your boss, pay them some compliments. And in the exit interview, have something good to say about your boss. It’s all part of the no-bridge-burning exercise. Offer to help with the transition to place people into your position. And on your last day, bring in something sweet to share around so you leave on a high.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, writer and teacher Steven DeMaio emphasises the importance of staying connected. It’s critical because one day, you might be coming back. “When it comes to quitting a workplace, cold turkey is a dead fish,’’ DeMaio says.
Some more smart advice from blogger Penelope Trunk: “If you want a counter-offer, give your boss enough notice to come up with one before you leave. A counter-offer is much less likely to come after you’re gone. Show gratitude for what your boss has done for you.
A personal thank you note is a good way to leave because your boss can reread it all the time and remember only the good things about you. This will help when you call your boss for a favor – like when you need a reference.”
Some more tips from my experience. Before you leave, save all your work and contacts to disk or e-mail them to a private e-mail account. Then delete your existence from the server. Don’t leave evidence of your job search or proof you’ve been pitching to rival organisations. Also, keep it private. If you confide in colleagues, they may accidentally let the news slip to your manager. It’s not worth the grief. And finally, don’t let your standards drop. Remain dignified. If you’re not in the habit of long lunches, don’t start now.
Have you ever your quit your job? How did you handle it?