I have always found that the decision to quit your job often seems more painful than the doing it. It’s easy to spend days, weeks, and even months convincing yourself it’s the right time for a job transition.
But is it the right move? You play out various scenarios and conversations in your head.
- Will they be angry?
- Can I be fired on the spot?
- Will I have to find a replacement?
It can also be easy to second-guess your decision once it is time to act on quitting your job.
Your career is about you and the decisions you make need to support your growth and work towards your future-facing goals. After all, companies have entire departments dedicated to hiring, firing, retaining, and onboarding talent. People move around in today’s job market more frequently than ever before.
If nothing else, start by setting an end date. And then base your strategy on when you want to leave or have a new opportunity. That, of course, means working backwards from that date to create a plan of transition.
Once you’ve set an end date to quit your job, it’s time to take action. You want to ensure that your job transition is a smooth one. After all, you want to leave on the best possible terms. Doing so will show respect for your employer. It will most certainly benefit you in the long run and safeguard your reputation.
Here are a few tips to prep yourself to give your notice and how to deliver it. And also some tips on how to solidify those important relationships on your way out.
Step 1: Make a list of people Impacted By Your Job Transition
Determine how to make any necessary handoffs of client accounts, existing projects, or other tasks. Upon giving your notice, ask your supervisor about the exact processes, timelines, and company policies for transitioning.
Step 2: Consider Any Customers Who Need to Know About Your Job Transition
Do this in the interest of maintaining those relationships. Be cautious with this step, and always refer to your company policies. Ensure that you don’t breach any non-disclosures or contractual terms. Ask how you should tell your clients or vendors. Once you’ve left the company, consider connecting on LinkedIn.
Step 3: Don’t Speak Publicly About Your New or Former Employer
Doing so (i.e. voicing your frustrations, discussing internal affairs) is unprofessional and likely to hurt your relationships. It’s also grounds for rescinding a job offer, or worse – invoking a lawsuit.
Step 4: Connect on LinkedIn with Your Peers, Supervisors, and Colleagues
It is important to maintain these connections for potential opportunities down the line. They can serve as key sources for referrals, references, and recommendations.
Even if you didn’t list someone as a reference, you may need them to vouch for you the next time. Identify who those people will be and ask their permission in advance before years go by and you’ve lost touch.
Step 5: Consider the Possibility of a Counter-Offer
It is not uncommon for companies to counter the offer an employee receives in the interest of retaining them. When and if your employer does counter, is it something you would consider. If so, what would the offer have to look like to make it worth your while.
If it’s more about the opportunity (read: not money), be prepared to thank them and walk away. You are under no obligation to reveal the new offer or the reason you prefer the new opportunity. You are not even obligated to reveal the new employer.
And while it may seem like common sense, always avoid burning bridges whenever possible. Industry peers talk, and people move around. The actions you take today may very well impact your career trajectory down the line.
Know your boundaries ahead of time so you are equipped to make the best decision. Then take the best possible course of action to ensure a smooth job transition.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio.
About the Author: Dana Leavy founded Aspyre Solutions, focusing on small business development and career consulting. Her mission is to support creative and socially-conscious small businesses. She also offers career transition coaching and business consulting.
Dana has helped hundreds of professionals execute effective career plans to find and DO the work they are passionate about. She has presented seminars on navigating careers, transition and work-life balance to several colleges and universities. Her advice is featured on MSN Careers, Fox Business News, NewsDay, CareerBuilder.com, GlassDoor and About.com. Follow Dana on Twitter!