Whether you have finally decided to turn a side project into a full-time career or your soul is withering a little more each day you stay in an unsatisfying job, at some point it may be time to move on.
If you choose to leave surrounded by drama, you risk damaging your personal reputation and putting your integrity into question. Do your future self a favour and maintain the highest standards throughout the process.
Here are 7 things to avoid when it’s time to quit a job.
- Never storm out.
Even if there comes a moment when it all gets to be too much, resist the urge to make an abrupt or emotional exit. Take a deep breath. Excuse yourself from the room. Cry in private. But don’t blow out in a huff, calling people names as you go. You jeopardize the rest of your career with a momentarily satisfying “Shove it” scene.
No matter what your industry, word will get around of your behaviour. Unless you are in an extreme and uncommonly bad situation, giving your employer two weeks’ notice (more for some jobs) is standard.
- Never let your boss hear about your departure from someone else.
Once you’ve made up your mind to leave, the first person in the office you should tell is your supervisor. The conversation should be done in person; regardless of the circumstances, you will get credit for having the consideration and poise to inform them face-to-face. Avoid dropping the news by text, email, social media or a sticky note.
- Never use the exit interview to vent your frustrations.
The company’s HR department may want to visit with you to better understand your reason for leaving. While this may seem like a golden opportunity to tell them what’s really on your mind, it’s not the time to freely share your innermost thoughts about your boss or air a long list of annoyances. Go in ready to offer helpful feedback in a constructive way.
- Never take it upon yourself to inform your clients of the news without consulting your boss.
Pretty soon they will no longer be your clients. These relationships belong to the company, so discuss with your manager how he or she would like to handle the transition and offer your assistance. While it’s fair to stay in touch with clients you have built relationships with, if you try poaching them away while on the job, you are putting them on the spot, making yourself look bad and not being fair to your employer.
- Never get sloppy after you’ve given notice.
Wrap things up to the best of your ability. Do a good job up until the minute you leave. Spend your remaining time getting ready to hand your duties over to your replacement instead of succumbing to short-timer’s disease and leaving things half-finished.
- Never make the mistake of thinking you won’t see them again.
There’s often a false sense of finality about leaving a job. It’s important to remember that you and your co-workers’ fates are somewhat intertwined. You are operating in the same universe, and you never know what the future holds.
There could come a day when your former intern has taken a job as a recruiter for one of your favourite firms. Your boss could move to another company that you would love to have as a client. Someday you may even want to work for the same corporation again. The point is, you never know where your career will lead and whose paths will intersect yours, so it’s in your best interest to strive to maintain good relationships with everyone.
- Never make them happy to see you go.
Stay positive and professional until the last day. Your final impression is as important as the first. It’s always better to make them sorry you’re leaving instead of relieved to see you go!
Owner, The Protocol School of Texas@dianegottsman