Volume 7,
Issue 33
How to Make a Proper Exit From Your Job

An Article by Marcelle Yeager, President of Career Valet published for Yahoo Reference:

Many of us will leave a job or two (or three) bitter and disgruntled. We may be so worn out that we left without another job lined up just to get the heck out as soon as possible. Or we may be inclined to throw our new opportunity in our current employer's face in a grand exit of triumph. These approaches might feel good in the moment, but they can have lasting negative consequences down the road.

Take a deep breath. There is a proper way to say goodbye, and you can do it -- no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. This approach will help your reputation remain intact, and it could land you more opportunities in the future that may be unimaginable to you now:

Talk to those you've worked closely with. This should be done on an individual basis, either in person or on the phone if distance is an issue. Doing so gives you a chance to explain your decision to go (if you choose), let them know how you've enjoyed working with them and/or what you've learned from them, and ask them to stay in touch (if you care to). You will leave a positive impression among colleagues who may end up being important to your future career, even if you don't know it now. The world is a small place, and unexpected connections with your past and present are likely to occur.

Sit for the exit interview. The exit interview is typically done with a human resources representative. You may never have worked with this person before, but one day he or she may get a call from a prospective employer asking about your work ethic and reputation. Don't give this person cause for a bad impression, as it could truly hurt your career progress down the line.

Clean out your computer files and email. The purpose of doing this is threefold: you may have personal information or performance records on your hard drive that you need to keep; you may not want the information easily accessible after you go; and there may be work documents or files that someone else needs access to. The same is true of email. Go through your inbox and saved folders to ensure you are not leaving behind anything you may need in the future. Forward or collect any important information for the colleagues taking over your duties when you leave.

Write a tips sheet, and pass it on. Many people ignore this one when leaving a job, but it's in your best interest and also in good taste to write out just what your job entails. There is likely knowledge you've gathered along the way that will be valuable to the person replacing you, and this knowledge can't be found in the job description. You should include links to help your colleagues find files and information. Wouldn't you appreciate this walking into a new job?

Schedule a hand-off meeting. If the person replacing you will be working at the company before you take off, sit down with him or her to go over your tips sheet and address any questions. If that person will not be there before you depart, schedule a meeting with whoever will be taking over for you until the new person begins or until an employee is trained for the job. Again, you would probably hope for the same if the roles were reversed.

Thank people. This is not easy to carry out if you're leaving your job in a bad state of mind, but it is crucial. Showing gratitude goes a long way, and others will be far more inclined to help you out in the future. Most importantly, thank your supervisor and HR. Those are the people who are likely to be called on your behalf concerning future job references and employment verifications.

Leaving a job is emotional, whether you're happy about it or have mixed feelings. It's a big step to decide to spend the majority of your week in a new place and start all over again. But no matter what circumstance you find yourself in, it's important to make an appropriate exit. Departing gracefully will leave people with a good impression, which is worth its weight in gold as you move to new jobs in the future.

Copyright © 2017 Alas Oplas & Co., CPAs. All rights reserved.