So, you decide it is time for a change—you want a new job. After a long, exhaustive job search process, you found a new opportunity and signed the employment contract. And now, all that is left is to break the news to the boss.
Quitting your job is a delicate process. Pulling off graceful exit and ensuring a seamless transition from your company can be tricky, especially if you want to leave with your network and reputation intact. Terrifying, but it is not mission impossible.
To help you out, here are five professional, step-by-step ways to leaving the company with style and grace.
- Tell Your Boss
Once you have decided to pull the plug, the first person you should inform is your boss (or direct manager, in your case)—and, in person. Sure, you may be tempted to tell your office best pal before anyone else, but telling your boss first is the professional thing to do. Think about it: you have worked with your boss for a good amount of years and invested yourself in the company, he or she may not see this coming. So, they should absolutely hear it from you rather than through the office grapevine.
When it comes to telling your boss, schedule a convenient time and make sure to carry this out in a one-on-one, private setting. It is imperative that you treat this situation formally, no matter how good your relationship with your boss is. This shows that you are taking this matter seriously and that you respect your boss’ time and authority.
- Give Plenty of Notice
It is normal for people to leave jobs and move on to new ones. But quitting your job without providing ample notice could leave your employer in a difficult situation and might even risk your new employer learning about your unprofessional exit. Even if you’ve already told your boss that you are resigning, you should still give your official notice.
The traditional time that should be given about your coming departure is a two-week notice. Such gesture is a respectful way to inform your employer the date you intend to leave your current position—and, in some cases, a requirement to formally resign your position. It also gives your employer time to open a role to fill your position or to make other arrangements.
However, it is important that you review your employment contract before giving notice. Depending on the terms of your contract, you may need to give your company a head’s up of more than two weeks. Be it a two-month or two-day notice, your boss will be appreciative that you’re leaving plenty of time to wrap up your current projects.
- Put Your Resignation in Writing
Now that the cat is out of the bag, it is time to write your resignation letter. A resignation letter is a formal written record that establishes your reason to leave your job and provides notice to your employer on the day you will make your move. This document is important as it ensures that both parties avoid any confusion as to your employment status or for legal records.
When writing your letter, state the date of your last day and reason of your departure. Keep it short and focused. And more importantly, maintain a positive tone. Ending your employment on a good note is an exhibit of class and professionalism.
- Complete All Outstanding Projects
You may have cleared all long-term projects but chances are, you would still have some daily or weekly tasks that will need wrapping up. Leaving your work unfinished will put a strain on your employer and co-workers who will have to take over your duties until a replacement is hired.
So, if you have ongoing projects that would be impossible to complete in your last few days with the company, make arrangements with a team member to take over the assignment and train them thoroughly on how to accomplish the project. Ask your manager for direction and close supervision on how you ought to tie up loose ends. Aim to make the transition as smooth as possible. After all, you only want your former boss and colleagues to feel nothing but positive about your professionalism after your departure.
- Go for a strong finish—Bid your Goodbye
You are down to your final days in the company. Not only you want to remain on good terms with your boss, you should with your co-workers as well. While finish up your remaning tasks and responsibilities, take this time to thank your co-workers either in person, via email or with a hand-written thank you note. Not only is it the nice thing to do, but such small gestures go a long way—trust me on this. You will never know when you will cross paths with them again.
Finally, make sure you say your goodbyes to everyone! On your last day, leave with a smile on your face and good wishes for the future. Maintaining a positive reputation should be of priority even on your way out.
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