How to Leave Your Job Without Causing WW3
By Nisha Naidu
Time to jump over to the greener side of pastures?
While all of us might not have the same nightmares portrayed in Horrible Bosses, it is normal to jump from one organization to another, especially in your early working years, until you find your comfort zone and the job you’re meant for. Leaving an organization should be as important as getting into one, for it reflects on your reputation, on your references, and who knows who you’d be bumping into in the future? You wouldn’t want your prospective employer to know what an unpleasant trail of events you’ve left behind in your previous job or he/she might think twice before hiring you. Here are some things you should consider once you’ve made your decision, that will leave you in a win-win position and avert a potential disaster.
Put some thought into your letter
Spelling “I QUIT” in a Scrabble game between you and your boss doesn’t count as a resignation letter. Treat your letter like any other formal letter you would issue out on a normal basis. Be courteous, non-confrontational, state your reasons in brief sentences and thank your boss and the management for all that they’ve done for you, even though all they may have done for you is tear your confidence down and sprinkled some salt on the wound. Being the bigger person always works for your advantage in the long run, so make sure that’s who you are.
Give reasonable resignation notice
Most companies state the resignation notice period in the employment contracts itself, so it’s a good starting guideline to how much notice you should be giving. If you are not in a rush, however, it’s always a good idea to offer to stay a little longer especially if you know that your job scope is encompassing a wide array of tasks. If you’re unsure about whether your job scope is wide or not, list down the things that you are doing on a daily basis, monthly basis and so on, and rate each task for its difficulty. From that you’ll be able to gauge whether you will be able to hand over the tasks to your replacement in time before you leave.
Be prepared to discuss
If you’ve been an asset to the company, no way are they going to accept your resignation just like that. Prepare a list of reasons on why you are leaving, so that you are prepared to discuss this with your immediate superior or management. Always be honest while maintaining your tactfulness, so that your concerns can be addressed, and the company can improve and maybe present you with a counteroffer you can’t resist!
Train your replacement
This will be testing on your teaching skills, but offering to train your replacement or whomever that is replacing you is a big burden off your boss, and he/she will be grateful for the effort. Remember that you manager’s primary role is often just that – managing and analyzing the big picture of your department. If you train your replacement well, there shouldn’t be any hiccups or difficulties when you leave, and you will be able to walk out of the job with peace of mind, knowing that everything will run smoothly.
Offer guidance for your testimonial
It is almost a standard procedure to provide employees with a testimonial on their contribution to an organization. However, do remember that while you are going to be on your way, your boss still has work to do and is probably bogged down with work. Offer to help with your testimonial by providing some points to include, or some companies may even ask you to write out your whole testimonial for your boss to vet through and sign. In this case, you have the power to write uplifting words about yourself to boost your image, but don’t abuse it.
Keep the trash talk behind locked doors
Unfortunately, sometimes your job and working with your boss could have ended up in high friction and clashing opinions. We’ve all seen or heard of these kinds of boss-employee relationships from our friends or acquaintances. But however badly you were treated by your superiors, refrain from whining and grumbling about your job to any Tom, Dick or Harry, especially co-workers, members of the same industry, or competitors as eventually it WILL get out. We understand that you’ll need to vent, however try to keep it professional and limit it to a few close friends who don’t share the same social circle as your colleagues or your boss.
That printer may look good, but it’s not yours
Never EVER EVER help yourself to company goods which you know aren’t yours. Return all company-owned items such as files, books, work desks, and for God’s sake your computer. And no, that photocopy machine was never yours and never will be. Unless your company decides to give you an item as your leaving gift, never assume it is yours. However small they may be, always ask first before taking home a file or book and so on.
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