Making a Graceful Exit
If you’re leaving a truly horrendous job, you may be tempted to make a dramatic exit. Don’t give into temptation; instead, be smarter and make an effort to leave on good terms. After all, you never know when you may need a reference for another position or find yourself working with a former co-worker or manager. Moreover, it’s a nice parting gift to be told that the door is always open, should you choose to return. Follow these departure tips to keep things on friendly terms. After all, the door swings both ways.
- Review your benefits and hiring paperwork so you know what you’re entitled to. More than one company has mistakenly–or intentionally–slighted a departing employee.
- Leave your work in order, with as much completed as possible. Though you may be tempted to slack off, remember that you’re still on the company payroll. Leaving an empty in-box is a sign of your responsibility and a show of courtesy towards your replacement.
- Give a reasonable amount of notice; two weeks is standard. Your company’s policies may differ and require that you be “walked” the same day; be prepared for this eventuality by clearing your files of all personal items beforehand.
- Offer to answer questions when your replacement is hired. This is a goodwill gesture that most bosses will appreciate.
- Be tactful about your reasons for leaving. Maybe you hated the whole office and all your co-workers, but you needn’t be honest. A simple “I was offered a great opportunity I couldn’t pass up” will suffice.
- Know beforehand if your resignation is negotiable. Be ready to receive a counteroffer from your company. If your decision is purely monetary, you may be willing to stay. But if there’s more involved–work environment, responsibility, etc.–know what your requirements are for sticking around. And if your decision is non-negotiable, make that clear upfront.