Whatever the reasons for leaving your current role, be it promotion, department change or even changing careers/organisations entirely, it is important to leave on a good note and make it easy for the person replacing you to walk into your role. Below are some ways to do just that.
Part 1 – Your resignation and notice period
Before you resign… Do you know how long your notice period is? If not, check! It is important to make sure you are not breaching your contract, and it is also just good manners to make sure you are leaving your company enough time to replace you. Be sure to be strategic with your time of departure and try to be flexible if possible. If possible make sure that you aren’t leaving in the middle of a busy period.
When it is time to hand in your resignation, make sure the first person you tell is your boss. There’s no worse way to announce your departure from an organisation than by it filtering through the office before it has been made official. When discussing your resignation, remember to express your gratitude; be respectful and thankful to the people and organisation that gave you the position in the first place.
It is a good idea to be transparent when it comes to discussing your next role and the reasons for your leaving; you have no moral or legal obligation to do this, but the more transparent you are, the more likely you are to preserve or even build on the relationship you already have with your boss and the company.
Part 2 – Your handover and final weeks.
It is important that you do not coast in your final weeks of employment. If anything, you should be working doubly as hard to make sure you finish off any projects that are outstanding, and if possible, take the effort to help train your replacement. This will ease the stress on your boss and the person replacing you.
If your organisation has not yet found a replacement, it is essential you complete comprehensive handover notes for the person who will be replacing you. In these notes, you should include any ‘insider tips’ for the new you, as there are many responsibilities within your role that others might not even be aware of. Think about what you know now that you didn’t know when you first started, think about what you wish you did know when you first started; these knowledge nuggets will be gold for the next person to take the reins of your position.
Another vital step in finishing all your last business with the company is, with your Boss’ permission to contact any key stakeholders or business associates you liaise with directly. Not only is it good to say goodbye to the people who you have been dealing with over the duration of your employment, it is important to let them know of the changes in your role, and to provide an alternative contact for them for future business.
Part 3 – Saying goodbye.
It is something that you don’t often think about, but the fact is that you spend more time at work than you do at home. The people that you work with, especially in a smaller business or within a team that you work well with, have become a second family. It is hard to say goodbye, but it is important to do so with grace and tact. Do not brag about your new position, although you can of course share your excitement for your new opportunity. Say thank you! Thank you to your bosses, to the people that you’ve worked with and anyone that has assisted you in your role throughout the duration of your employment.
Whatever you do, and regardless of your workplace situation, do not take your departure as an opportunity to say negative things about the workplace or the people in it. Remember, just because you may be changing departments or even companies, does not mean that you will never work with these people again! Especially if you stay in the same industry! Leave a good impression, and don’t burn any bridges on your way out.
With these things in mind, it is possible to leave your old role in a positive and healthy way, leaving room for your next steps in your career. Congratulations and good luck!