Hurray! You’ve been offered a brilliant new job opportunity with more money and an impressive title. Even better, you will get free snacks at the office! But before you blissfully start your journey with this employer, remember that it is significant how you end things off in your current workplace—and fortunately, there’s a right way to do so. “Your departure is one of the most impactful moments of your career,” said Nicole Williams, founder of WORKS and author of Girl On Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success. “If you leave on a bad note, you’ll counteract all the great work you did.” Although it can be intimidating to inform your boss that you are leaving, this kind of extreme reaction is rare. So how should one expect their supervisor to react? And what’s the best route for breaking the news to coworkers? Moving forward, learn more about expectations while exiting a job and guarantee success by handling any arising situations like an expert!
[Related: 10 Tips for Someone Starting a New Job]
1. Although your boss may be courteous, it is important to remain prepared for any questions she might pose.
As your departure may come as a surprise to your boss, try and remain composed and have responses prepared for likely questions. According to Amanda Slavin, founder of CatalystCreativ, “Your boss will likely ask where you are going, what you’ll be doing at your next job, and what made you want to leave your current position,”
2. There is a chance for an attractive counteroffer, but it cannot be guaranteed.
Williams suggests that counter offers are not as prevalent as they used to be. “With people switching jobs more frequently these days, employers almost expect you to leave or at least be looking for other jobs,” she explained. It is possible that if you are a valued member of a small team (four to five people), your employer might offer an enticing counteroffer. Before deciding to move on from this role, contemplate carefully whether or not you want to stay in it – and what salary, title, and benefits would make that decision easier.
3. Your co-workers will miss you, but will also move on.
Though you may be tempted to bid farewell with a Taylor Swift GIF, it’s best to remember that informing your boss of your leave should always come first.“Ask her how she wants to tell the staff you’re moving on,” said Williams. “She may want to do it herself or keep the news quiet until she figures out a replacement.” When your colleagues find out you’re departing, they may be disappointed (you are amazingly awesome, after all!) and will likely have a few queries. This is particularly true if it results in an increased workload for them. Even though your focus might already be on the next chapter of your career journey, do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition within this company.
4. You can expect a laid-back HR exit interview—and that’s the best result for everyone!
In an ideal world, your exit interview with HR would be like a juicy confessional on The Bachelor. You’d express every single aggravation caused by your boss and tell the truth about why you’re moving on. In reality, you shouldn’t use your exit interview to air out your dirty laundry. “Unless you have a serious personal issue, it’s best to stay positive,” said Slavin. “If you want to complain just to complain, talk to a friend outside the company so you can get out all your grievances without burning any bridges.”
5. Your exit strategy is key.
“You don’t want to be remembered as the girl who left without finishing her job,” said Williams. “You may think, ‘What does it matter? I’ll never see these people again!’ but it’s a small world and you could need a recommendation from your boss in the future.” Schedule a meeting with your manager to go over all your responsibilities and the status of your current projects. You may even want to recommend people who can take over your work; i.e. “Kelly has been working with me on this client. She’d be a great person to help out when I’m gone.” Make sure to tie up any loose ends before you go and provide a comprehensive report for the following individual. On your final day, email all of your business contacts and clients to inform them that you are stepping away from this role and include details about their new primary contact person. “Do whatever it takes to make your transition as seamless as possible,” said Williams. “And above all, be professional.”
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