It’s winding down to the end of 2016, and some of you may be on to bigger and brighter things in the new year by starting afresh at a new job. You can finally look forward to Mondays again, work with a different crowd and hopefully learn some new skills. But there is still the small matter of leaving your current role. To help you avoid burning any bridges or ruining your professional reputation, we’ve put together some tips as to how to go about your grand exit…
1. Keep your boss in the loop
Okay, so you’ve finally made the decision to leave – your next point of call is to tell your direct boss. Whilst it can be tempting to go and immediately spread the good news to your work buddies, word travels fast and your superiors will not be impressed if they find out of your departure second-hand. Letting them know first not only gets the most difficult conversation out of the way, but it also shows that you still respect their authority.
2. Make a plan
As with many other elements of adult life, leaving a job can be a complicated feat; you can’t simply up and leave on your last day. Discussing and organising your notice period is just the beginning, there are a host of other factors to consider: will you have to train a replacement? Clear that mysterious paperwork from your desk that you haven’t touched in months? Get going on getting these possibilities sorted and ensure that your final days at the company are as stress-free as possible.
3. Nail the exit interview
As the old adage goes, honesty is the best policy, so don’t be afraid of airing any problems you’ve experienced throughout your role in your exit interview. Voicing criticism is never easy on anyone, but being able to communicate business flaws reflects self-confidence and that you care about company culture. Leave without saying anything, and your colleagues will only go on suffering the same issues. Just be sure to give your feedback in a pleasant, approachable manner. Petulancy or aggression never helps get a mans point across.
4. Don’t start slacking
Leaving a job can sometimes flick a certain reckless switch in the brain. You may find yourself developing a devil-may-care thought process: what would really happen if I didn’t do any work? I’m leaving, I don’t answer to these people anymore, why bother! Stop right there, gentlemen; while new horizons await you, the colleagues you’re leaving behind will be the ones having to deal with all your half-finished, weakly attempted tasks if you start slacking on the job your last few weeks. So, keep up the hard work; not only will the office appreciate you haven’t left an awful workload in your wake, it will also give the company more reason to miss you when you’re gone.
5. Stay civil
We’ve all fantasised about making a dramatic exit: putting on our coats and storming out the front door, barking out a few profanities and then telling our bosses what we really think of them. However, making a scene when leaving a job is probably the most un-gentlemanly act- even if you’re leaving under very toxic circumstances, it’s best to do so with grace. Stay friendly, polite and behave as how you want to be remembered, in the best possible light.
Most importantly, refrain from bashing the company or bad-mouthing your colleagues; it’s a small working world, and you never know when you may end up crossing paths again…