How To Preserve Your Reputation While Exiting A Job

Perhaps you’ve found a more lucrative position at a different company, or maybe you’ve just decided to take a break from the work force for personal reasons. No matter what circumstances have brought you to quit your current job, it’s best to make your resignation as professional as possible. A carefully choreographed exit prevents you from burning bridges and leaving your co-workers in a jam as you go. Here are some tips for exiting your current position gracefully, with your reputation in tact:

GIVE PLENTY OF NOTICE

Regardless of how great or awful your boss was to you, you owe them the courtesy of two weeks’ notice. This helps them to get your replacement trained and to make arrangements for your departure. If you simply don’t have two weeks’ notice to give, offer as much advance warning as you can. However, be prepared that your boss may ask you to leave as soon as you announce your resignation. While this is unfortunate, it’s a risk you have to take in order to avoid leaving your co-workers high and dry as they try to pick up your slack. In most cases, though, your employer will allow you to work out your two weeks.

LET YOUR BOSS KNOW WHY YOU WANT TO LEAVE

Go into that meeting with a clear reason for why you’re leaving the company and your resignation letter. If you have to quit over the phone, follow up the conversation with a brief email and your resignation letter attached. Think of your resignation letter like a thank you note. It should be short, convey how grateful you are, for the opportunity to work at your soon-to-be former company, mention how much you learned from your immediate boss, and include the date of the last day at your job.

TALK WITH YOUR CO-WORKERS

The rumor mill tends to start buzzing when an employee mysteriously disappears from the work place, and if your reputation among your co-workers is important to you, you’ll want to set the record straight before you go. Talk with your co-workers face-to-face and tell them about your decision to resign-after you’ve provided notice to your boss, of course. Avoid talking about your plans with your co-workers before you’ve spoken with your employer, as this is unprofessional.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR STORY TO ALL COLLEAGUES

Make sure that you are consistent with your story to all colleagues as well. Office gossip has a way of spreading like wild fire and if you’ve told different co-workers different reasons for your departure, the most negative, exaggerated story is sure to reach your boss’s ears- and cloud her judgment if you ask for a letter of recommendation in the future.

FINISH YOUR WORK

Lastly, if you have any unfinished cases, projects or other jobs, do your best to finish them before your final day of employment. Providing notice isn’t a license to slack off and cease carrying out your duties and it’s important that you maintain your productivity and continue working until you’re officially no longer employed by your company.

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