How You Leave a Job Matters

How you leave a job makes a lasting impression with those you worked for and with at the company.  Since you will likely need a reference from that job at some point in the future,  you want to leave on as positive a note as possible.  It is also an amazingly small world these days and you could easily cross paths with those former colleagues in the future.  Best policy is to NEVER burn any bridges.

How do you tell your manager and colleagues you are leaving?

  • Be sure to tell your manager before telling anyone else.  Give your manager the courtesy of letting him/her know first.
  • Be honest without being overly negative or critical.  Tell them a bit about the exciting new opportunity and what you will be doing.  Give them highlights of what caused you to consider other alternatives.
  • Once you have notified your manager, submit an official resignation letter for HR.  State that you are leaving and share the date, not the reasons.
  • If required, schedule a formal exit interview with HR.
  • Thank you manager for the opportunity you have had there and what you have learned.  Ask if he/she would be a reference in the future.
  • Ask how you can best spend your last two weeks – suggest documenting processes and procedures, documenting outstanding projects, training others on the team.
  • Always give at least two weeks notice. If you are higher in the organization and have been there many years, you should give a one month notice.
  • Ask your manager if it is ok to tell your colleagues.
  • When telling your colleagues, stay as positive as possible.  There is little be gained by bashing the manager or the company and it could seriously hurt you in the future.

How should you spend your last two weeks?

  • If your current responsibilities are not already well documented, prepare as much documentation as possible.
  • Compile a list of any outstanding projects or issues.
  • Provide a list of where to find critical files on the computer.
  • Organize and label for your files so others can find what they need easily.
  • Work with your manager to identify any training you need to do with colleagues to provide coverage.
  • Coordinate with your manager how you should notify customers or vendors you work with to ensure that they know who to contact once you leave.
  • Don’t leave any personal items in your desk or your office.  Leave your work space clean and well organized.
  • Participate in an HR exit interview if requested.
  • Clarify how you want to be contacted if there are questions once you leave – home email?  Phone?

What do you do your last day?

  • Ensure that everything above has been completed.
  • Turn in any keys, ID tags, passwords, etc.
  • Update your voicemail and email with appropriate contact information for whoever will be covering.
  • Address any outstanding questions with your manager and colleagues.
  • Graciously say goodbye and thank you for the experience.
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Last Two Weeks on the Job

How you leave a job makes a lasting impression with those you worked for and with.   Since you will likely need a reference from that job at some point in the future, you want to leave on as positive a note as possible.   It is also an amazingly small world these days and you could easily cross paths with those former colleagues in the future   Best policy is NEVER burn any bridges.

How do you tell your boss and colleagues you are leaving?

  • Be sure to tell your boss before telling anyone else.  Give your boss the courtesy of letting him/her know first.
  • Be honest without being overly negative or critical.  Tell them a bit about the exciting new opportunity and what you will be doing.  Give them highlights of what caused you to consider other alternatives.
  • Once you have notified your boss, submit an official resignation letter for HR   State that you are leaving and share the date, not the reasons.
  • If required, schedule a formal exit interview with HR.
  • Thank your  boss for the opportunity you have had there and what you have learned.   Ask if he/she would be a reference in the future.
  • Ask how you can best spend your last two weeks – suggest documenting processes and procedures, documenting outstanding projects, training others on the team.
  • Always give at least a two week notice.  With more senior level positions or after an extended time in a position, a longer notice is appropriate.
  • Ask your boss if it is ok to tell your colleagues.
  • When telling your colleagues, stay as positive as possible.  There is little be gained by bashing the boss or the company and it could seriously hurt you in the future.

How should you spend your last two weeks?

  • If your current responsibilities are not already well documented, prepare as much documentation as possible.
  • Compile a list of any outstanding projects or issues.
  • Provide a list of where to find critical files on the computer.
  • Organize and label for your files so others can find what they need easily.
  • Work with your manager to identify any training you need to do with colleagues to provide coverage.
  • Coordinate with your boss how you should notify customers or vendors you work with to ensure that they know who to contact once you leave.
  • Don’t leave any personal items in your desk or your office.  Leave your work space clean and well organized.
  • Participate in an HR exit interview if requested.
  • Clarify how you want to be contacted if there are questions once you leave – home email?  Phone?

What do you do your last day?

  • Ensure that everything above has been completed.
  • Turn in any keys, ID tags, passwords, etc.
  • Update your voicemail and email with appropriate contact information for whomever will be covering.
  • Address any outstanding questions with your boss and colleagues.
  • Graciously say goodbye and thank you for the experience.

What post-employment relationships should you have?

  • Helpful to stay connected to your boss and key colleagues via Linked In in case you need references sometime in the future.
  • Be clear about your how willing you are to answer questions and for how long
  • If you choose to socialize with former colleagues, it is social not work, don’t ask for proprietary info and don’t share any.

Be positive and professional from the moment you give your notice until you walk out the door for the last time.   Your efforts will be rewarded down the road by those you have worked with and for as you receive positive references in the future.

Remember, you are still being paid by that employer until your last day and they deserve your best efforts.  Be professional in leaving the team as well prepared as possible to cover your responsibilities.  Leave things clean, organized and well-documented.

How to Leave a Job on Good Terms

Image Courtesy of CartoonStock.com

Image Courtesy of CartoonStock.com

How you leave a job makes a lasting impression with those you worked for and with.  Since you will likely need a reference from that job at some point in the future,  you want to leave on as positive a note as possible.  It is also an amazingly small world these days and you could easily cross paths with those former colleagues in the future.  Best policy is NEVER burn any bridges.

How do you tell your boss and colleagues you are leaving?

  • Be sure to tell your boss before telling anyone else.  Give your boss the courtesy of letting him/her know first.
  • Be honest without being overly negative or critical.  Tell them a bit about the exciting new opportunity and what you will be doing.  Give them highlights of what caused you to consider other alternatives.
  • Once you have notified your boss, submit an official resignation letter for HR.  State that you are leaving and share the date, not the reasons.
  • If required, schedule a formal exit interview with HR.
  • Thank you boss for the opportunity you have had there and what you have learned.  Ask if he/she would be a reference in the future.
  • Ask how you can best spend your last two weeks – suggest documenting processes and procedures, documenting outstanding projects, training others on the team.
  • Always give at least two weeks notice.
  • Ask your boss if it is ok to tell your colleagues.
  • When telling your colleagues, stay as positive as possible.  There is little be gained by bashing the boss or the company and it could seriously hurt you in the future.

How should you spend your last two weeks?

  • If your current responsibilities are not already well documented, prepare as much documentation as possible.
  • Compile a list of any outstanding projects or issues.
  • Provide a list of where to find critical files on the computer.
  • Organize and label for your files so others can find what they need easily.
  • Work with your manager to identify any training you need to do with colleagues to provide coverage.
  • Coordinate with your boss how you should notify customers or vendors you work with to ensure that they know who to contact once you leave.
  • Don’t leave any personal items in your desk or your office.  Leave your work space clean and well organized.
  • Participate in an HR exit interview if requested.
  • Clarify how you want to be contacted if there are questions once you leave – home email?  Phone?

What do you do your last day?

  • Ensure that everything above has been completed.
  • Turn in any keys, ID tags, passwords, etc.
  • Update your voicemail and email with appropriate contact information for whomever will be covering.
  • Address any outstanding questions with your boss and colleagues.
  • Graciously say goodbye and thank you for the experience.

Confidence: The Key to Success

Confidence is the key to career success at any level.  Think about how you can use confidence to you advantage to advance your career goals.

When you are confident in your work:

  • Others feel comfortable delegating projects to you,  knowing that you will do them well and on time
  • Others will turn to you for information
  • You will earn special assignments and additional responsibilities
  • You become the “go to” person for things that need to be done
  • People enjoy working with confident people on their team

Why does confidence matter?

  • It is hard for others to believe you are capable and competent if they don’t think you believe it
  • People want to work with people they can rely on
  • Managers want to work with colleagues  they trust
  • Confidence helps build your credibility in the workplace

Confidence doesn’t mean you know all the answers.  It means you have the confidence in your own skills and resourcefulness to track down the answers to the questions.

Confidence as a Career Builder

  • Confident people are more likely to be recognized in the workplace and often are the ones who receive promotions and other opportunities
  • Confidence can certainly enhance your career as people perceive your success in your current role
  • Being the “can do” person can help expand your responsibilities
  • Confidence enables you to volunteer for the special projects
  • Confidence enables you to step in during a crunch time to offer your assistance.

How do you develop confidence?

  • While some degree of confidence seems to be innate, it can definitely be developed
  • Work with your mentor to help increase your confidence
  • Self-talk can help as you remind yourself of your capabilities
  • Stretching outside your comfort zone can help enhance your confidence
  • Furthering your education can help to increase your confidence, whether it is a degree or specific courses to increase your skills in a particular aspect of your job

A Good Rep Goes A Long Way!

How does one enhance their own reputation at work? Check out “A Good Rep Goes a Long Way” by Dawn Klingensmith on Job Week, Content that Works!

For more of Lynne’s advice on how to become a rising star and develop a good reputation, see Lynne and Dawn’s Question & Answer interview below.

Courtesy of Google

Dawn Klingensmith (DK): If one wants to build or enhance one’s reputation, I imagine it’s important to first determine what one wants to be known for. A subject matter expert? A creative genius? A problem solver? A disgruntled client whisperer? This may sound silly, but is there an exercise someone can do or questions to ask themselves to determine how they’d like to be known to their boss, colleagues and in the industry?

Lynne Sarikas (LS): While it would be great to know what you want to be known for, in my experience it becomes obvious over time.  I’ve observed that the problem solver or subject matter expert in one job often becomes the same expert in another position and often even in another company.  We use Career Leader which helps identify where skills and interests intersect.  This can be helpful in determining career paths but doesn’t specifically address what you want to be known for.  Self awareness is critical.  There is also a level of inherent ability.  You may wish you could be the creative genius but if you do not have that skill set it is not likely to happen.

DK: I imagine there are behaviors one must do consistently to build a relationship as a solid, reliable, loyal employee — in other words, a good hire for the company. What are some of those? Which of those behaviors and habits overlap when one is trying to go beyond that to develop a reputation as a rising star and a standout in the company and industry? Someone born to be a leader? Which behaviors/habits must one cultivate to be known as the shining star?

LS: Before you can become the rising star, you have to build a reputation as a solid, reliable employee.  Do you job and do it well.  Be the first to volunteer for additional assignments and new challenges.  Deliver results consistently and in a timely manner and it will be noticed.  Commit yourself to continuous learning on the job.  Be willing to train others.  Set high standards in all you do and meet or exceed those standards.

 DK: What are some worthy relationship-building goals, and tactics for getting achieving them?

 LS: To become a rising star you need to build strong relationships.  You should ideally have a mentor in a more senior position who can advocate for you and offer guidance.  You need a strong relationship with your manager.  Make your boss look good.  Build collaborative relationships across the organization.  Many people box themselves in by limiting their interaction to their own department. Know how to get things done across the organization by building a strong network.  Be someone that others want to work with.  Be someone they will request when they are putting together a cross-functional team.  Never speak poorly of your manager or your company in public.  Respect confidences. 

 DK: How important is image? How does appearance play into that, and what else besides appearance? (Poise in meetings and public speaking, voicemail and email etiquette, etc.)

 LS: Image can enhance or detract from your reputation for getting things done but it doesn’t replace the critical work being done and the relationships being built. For roles that involve client interaction, image becomes much more important since you are seen as a representative of the company and their brand.  Communication skills are paramount in building a strong reputation.  Public speaking, managing meetings, voicemail and email etiquette as well as general business etiquette are all important to rise within the organization.