It can be incredibly cathartic to imagine yourself leaving a job in a blaze of glory. In one’s imagination, a great exit can resolve all the moments of feeling underappreciated, micromanaged, and stilted. Unfortunately, the reality is something much less glamorous and it rarely has an accompanying triumphal soundtrack.
Leaving a job on good terms leaves the door open for being recalled in a positive way, and not remembered in a point-no-return blaze of glory. It can help by tempering the moment with thoughts of positive recommendations and positive word of mouth. This is beneficial no matter if you are leaving for a promotion, a pay raise or exiting a toxic environment. Indeed.com offered tips on leaving the workplace on good terms, which I have shared below.
Step by Step
- Leave your reputation intact – People might not remember what you say but they will remember what you did or did not do. Demonstrating an elevated level of professionalism leaves an open door for securing a recommendation in the future. It can also make it less awkward if you run into someone from the company at an industry event.
- Follow the protocol – No matter your feelings, it is good to provide written notice, ideally two weeks before your last day. This will provide time to find a replacement. Make your boss or supervisor the first person you notify about your departure.
- Offer to help with the transition – The success of your team can hinge on how you leave the organization. Clean old files and compile important documents so they can be easily accessed.
- Do not sluff off – While it is tempting to check out, remember your team is still dependent on your contributions. They too will remember if you were helpful, or not, during your last days. Prepare any needed documents or training and finish outstanding tasks or assignments.
- Connect with your team – Help ease the transition by making sure others have the information they need to be successful moving forward. This may include sharing documents or informing contacts of the change in command. Offer training, if necessary, to ease the transition.
- Stay connected – Do not burn bridges, if possible. Your industry and its contacts are smaller than you may think. Maintaining positive relationships throughout a transition is a key part of maintaining a strong network.
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