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Quitting a Job on a High Note

To my Young Professional, no matter if you’ve been in the career world for a short time or for a few years now, leaving a job is a big decision. There is a great deal to consider. Some say they have been tempted to give some coworkers or their boss a piece of their mind. Others secretly wish some coworkers get a flat tire on a busy street. But the bottom line is, it is important to depart on a very professional and positive tone.

Here are a few suggestions on how to do it:

Be smart about giving notice:

Take notice of how your company has typically handled resignations in the past. Once you give notice, some firms will show you right to the door in order to protect their assets. If this is the case, be sure you collect personal items from your work area or devices prior to giving notice.

Once you know you are leaving, set a meeting with your boss either in person or visual app like Facetime. Exercise integrity as a young professional does not send texts to quit. The standard notice is two weeks but if you are able, longer notice might help make to transition easier for your department.

When to do the deed in person:

As a person who may have recently entered the job market, your boss may have become a mentor. Your superior may have treated you exceptionally well or he may have challenged you to reach for new heights. In that situation, give them a courtesy of an in-person announcement. Don’t be shy about asking that person if you may use them for a future referenced or can you call on them in the future for advice and further guidance. Why not? At some point they may think of you for an opportunity or project or even consulting work. I can’t tell you how many times that a former employee or client sends business my way.

Anticipate your boss’s reaction:

Just last week, a client called for advice about leaving their job. She was concerned about the boss’s reaction. My suggestion was to play out scenarios of possible reactions before telling her boss. Be prepared for anything from anger, to disbelief to joyful reactions. Some employers conduct exit interviews to gain Intel on how they can improve their operations. It’s up to you whether to participate but it may be good practice for voicing your opinion, positive or negative, as a young professional in the workplace.

Wrap up loose ends:

If you are in the middle of a task or project, leave a detailed status of where you are and what is remaining to complete. Here are some great apps to help you create to-do lists to get tasks completed before your end date. Even though you may be moving on to bigger things, you still want to treat others with decency and kindness. Be open to the idea of staying on as a consultant if that is possible. You can use this as extra income until the completion of these duties. Once notice has been given, there is a tendency to slack up or check out. Show your best work until your last day of employment. This is yet a step into adulthood.

Publicizing the departure:

If lasting relationships with colleagues has been built, a Young Professional will want to post/send a short announcement as a courtesy. Be sure that you always remain tasteful in your wording and reiterate the positive aspects of your tenure with the organization. This is so even if you have sour feelings about your time there. Remember that a Young Professional is working to build a career or establish credibility or identity in a work environment. Don’t blow it with negativity. Even though it is sometimes hard to hold back.

Lastly, Young Professional, use social media to your advantage. Most turn to social media to announce big happenings in our lives and that’s perfectly acceptable. Keep it positive and do not bash your boss or coworkers or divulge company information during this transition time in your life. I know that when I look to hire an employee or intern, that’s the first place I check. Is the person trustworthy, reliable, kind, hardworking, and do they have integrity? If the answer is yes, they are doing something right.

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