Posted on Apr 10, 2012 in Office Etiquette
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At my current company we have a very big team. Almost every month someone is quitting to pursue another opportunity or for personal reasons. Sometimes we are forced to let someone go because of their performance. The way you quit a job should always be handled in a professional manner even if you think you will never see these people again. Your first impression and your last impression are how your colleagues and bosses will remember you. No matter what your reason is for quitting your job you need to do so in a polite and professional manner without burning bridges.
1. Give appropriate notice
Depending on your company’s policy the standard is usually two weeks. Two weeks is the bare minimum you should give your employer. As a courtesy to your employer, you should give up to four weeks. This demonstrates that you care about making sure that the transition is smooth. I can tell you that bosses really appreciate this. I understand if you cannot give more than two weeks because the other job wants you to start right away. Again, depending on company policy, you might need to write a resignation letter to hand to your boss.
2. Do not slack off
It is really tempting to just goof off once you give notice. I say you should do the opposite. You should work as hard as you did when you first joined the company. Show your boss and colleagues you have integrity by working hard until the day you leave. This will ensure you leave with a very good reputation as a team player and a conscientious worker. They will be sad to see you go.
3. Be courteous and professional
Your attitude towards your colleagues, subordinates and bosses are very important during the last few weeks at the job. Avoid bragging about your new job. This will only make your colleagues unhappy and resent you. The reality of the business world is that you must leave on good terms no matter what you think of your bosses and colleagues. Know that you have a very short period of time in which to remain here. In today’s world, you need to keep all of your relationships healthy. When you are leaving one job for another, it is especially important that you demonstrate respect for you staff, your co-workers, and your boss in particular.
4. Ensure the transition goes smoothly
Do everything you can to help out the next person who will be taking over your responsibilities. This might require you to put in extra time or devote more effort to help train someone to take over your job. Do your best to complete your projects, tasks and assignments before you leave. Before quitting, prepare an email or document detailing the status of all your unfinished projects and include instructions for completion. Prepare useful notes for your replacement. Be available to answer questions that may arise after you leave.
5. Tie up loose ends
Every time I leave a job, I make sure to tie up any loose ends such as deleting personal stuff from my work computer. Return any company property you have – including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you. Take the time to thank employees who have worked with you. Send personal notes to those who have helped you along the way or have been important to you while there. Don’t forget to say goodbye to your colleagues and let them know how they can reach you in the future.
6. Stay in touch
Unless you never want to see these people again, it is a good idea to stay in touch with your former bosses and colleagues. They might be able to help you in the future if you need to look for another job. If things don’t work out at your new job, you might be able to go back to your old one. Staying in touch is one of the keys of building a strong network.