So you want to quit your job and fulfill your dreams. Maybe you want to become a nature photographer or start a cocktail company (talk about a dream job). Or maybe you’ve just got a better offer on the table from another company, and it’s time to break the news to your current employer. Whether you like your current job (and employer) or you can’t wait to get out of there, it’s super important to leave the RIGHT way. But it can definitely be tricky to get all the etiquette down, so we asked an expert for his best tips and tricks.
As the CEO of Reflektive, a platform that makes real-time feedback possible, Rajeev Behera has thought a lot about the relationships between managers and employees. Rajeev says the goal is to leave gracefully, especially if you’re planning on staying in the same industry. One of the most important things you can do is make sure you’re not leaving the company high and dry. “Think about the company a little bit before you leave — they’re losing a valuable asset in you and the knowledge that you have, so help them transition,” he says. “The goal is that by the time you leave, they shouldn’t feel like they’re scrambling to take over the gap [of your work].” If you’re planning on leaving your company, keep in mind these four tips for quitting your job — gracefully.
1. Don’t be afraid of giving lots of notice. It can be nerve-wracking to give more than the minimum two weeks notice to your manager. You really don’t know for sure how they’ll take it. Will they ask you to leave earlier or treat you differently for the rest of your time there? But Rajeev says as long as you have a pretty good relationship with your employer, the more notice the better. “I saw this happen at a recent job, where someone wanted to leave; they had a good relationship with their manager, and they told them that they were leaving in three months. Now, it’s a comfortable topic, because they talked about it so early. And they’ll talk about what the person’s doing next in their next career and help them with references. Very rarely will an employee get a reference from the company they just left, but if they tell their boss earlier, the topic becomes common and transparent.”
2. Think about what you actually do every day. Once you’ve given notice, it’s important to spend some time thinking about all the tasks your successor will be taking over. Rajeev says that, when pressed, a lot of people have a hard time actually listing what they do all day at work. “Sit down and ask yourself, ‘What percentage of my day do I spend doing XYZ?’ Detail that out, and then think about who you work with on those things,” he says. Then give that list to the person or people taking over for you. The mark of a successful transition: “By the time you leave, you should just be watching what you were doing before and having someone else do it.”
3. Get over your anger. We all have that one annoying coworker who makes work life a little — or a lot — more difficult, but Rajeev says leaving hastily will actually mean that coworker gets the last laugh. “Typically, it’s one specific person [who you have an issue with], and then you take it out on the whole company by not gracefully transitioning out. When you’re upset you may want to leave quickly, but think about everyone else you work with and the position you’re putting them in,” Rajeev says. In other words, don’t burn any bridges with the people you have good relationships with, just because of that one bad apple.
4. Maintain relationships before and after you leave. This sounds simple, but it’s easier said than done. If you have really great relationships with your coworkers, make sure you maintain those relationships, even after you leave the company. “It’s important to stay in touch and keep them in your network going forward. You may not work with them at this company anymore, but at a future company, you might work with them again. Spending time with them and getting to know them on a personal level is always good before you leave.”
Did you leave a job recently? Tweet us your thoughts on leaving gracefully @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)