I know we’ve all seen those movies and TV shows where the lead character (and sometimes his/her buddies) stand up and triumphantly shout “I Quit!” and storm out of the office with the obligatory fighter music blaring in the background. Some coworkers cheer while others hang their head in despair, wishing they could display the same type of courage and fortitude.
In the real world, this is a less than desirable approach to proclaiming your freedom (and perhaps disgust) with your current job. How you handle leaving your current job speaks volumes about your character and here a few things to keep in mind if you feel it’s time to move on to something else:
- Stay dedicated until your last day. Be just as good on your last day as you were the first day. If you’ve made the commitment to work right up through the last day, then do so. It shows that you are reliable and are true to your word, traits that will need to be carried to your new job.
- Leave a mark. Leave your company better than you found it. Tie up any loose ends-emails, instant messages, phone calls and the like. Also, what can you do that will provide value to your successor? Be willing to train your replacement in order to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- Your resignation is not a jumping off point for salary negotiations. I’ve witnessed this very thing go wrong quite a few times. Using a competing offer or threatening resignation will not win the respect of your boss or coworkers. If you choose to stay with your current company this creates an awkward interaction for all parties involved. If you feel your compensation is below market, it is best to go to your boss and have an open conversation about your concerns. Strive to conduct yourself with integrity. If the company feels you are a valued employee, then they might put together a retention package for your reconsideration. If everything else is the same and money isn’t the driving force, then the additional compensation wouldn’t change your mind and you’ll know it’s time to move on.
- Exit on a positive note. We all dislike some aspect about the company we work for and there are some things we would like to see change. Even if you dislike certain things (or everything) about your company, be sure to express your concerns in a constructive manner. There’s a difference between offering suggestions for change and lodging complaints. More importantly…think positive! You’re starting a new chapter in life-talk about your new role or life stage instead of focusing on negativity and dissatisfaction.
Contemplating a career change can be stressful and daunting. Take the time to figure out what’s best for you and your family and then take the steps necessary to provide a graceful closure to your former company.
Have you left a job recently? Is there anything you felt you could’ve handled better? Let me know your thoughts…
Danyel| @orchidbleu| orchidbleu.com