Tips for Leaving Your Job on a High Note

Well done! You’ve landed a new job. You’re probably elated and dancing about the great news.

But now, it’s time to inform your current employer about your resignation. Are your palms sweaty?

Leaving a job can be an awkward process. Let’s discuss how to transition out of your job to ensure an easy and positive experience.

New job offer: Signed, sealed and delivered

Prior to taking any action, it’s critical to verify your new job offer letter is in your possession before notifying your current employer.

Why? Your job offer could fall through. Avoid being the unfortunate person who quits their job and becomes unemployed because they believed they had a new job lined up. Prevent this situation by having everything in writing before doing anything.

Plan your exit strategy

Giving a two-week notice is standard business practice. Your employer needs adequate time to transition and adjust to your departure. Leaving a role in less than two weeks could potentially put your boss and team in a tough predicament.

For instance, employers may need a longer transition period if an employee leaves who has a specialized role in which they’re the only person who knows how to do their job. Be sure to talk with your current manager first. Then, discuss your new start date with your future employer.

Additionally, don’t feel obligated to begin your new role in two weeks. More than likely, your new manager will respect that you’re not leaving your current employer in a difficult spot.

Create a transition plan

Before giving your boss notice, put together a transition plan. As you create your plan, think of how your departure will impact workflow, processes and initiatives. What can you do to help your manager and the team continue the work until your backfill is hired? Think through who you can transfer tasks to, and make those recommendations to your boss as you talk through open projects.

Provide password lists, training manuals and other items useful for your replacement.

Your manager will undoubtedly appreciate your efforts, leaving them with a pleasant last impression of you.

Inform your manager first

No one enjoys being the last person to find out something, especially when they should have been the first person to know. It’s critical that you inform your boss first about your resignation. Here’s why:

  • It’s business etiquette.Your immediate leader should be notified first when announcing your resignation. After all, most people don’t like being caught off guard especially when it pertains to important matters.
  • Eliminate office gossip. You can avoid inciting non-productive office chatter about your departure by reaching out to your manger first instead of your peers. Under no circumstances should your leadership find out about your resignation through watercooler talk.

How to break the news

Make it a priority to discuss your leaving with your boss in private. While informing your manager face-to-face is preferred, a video conference or phone conversation is adequate.

Prepare for this conversation by planning out your talking points ahead of time. During the conversation, always keep it positive and professional—even when discussing the reasons behind your departure. Also, be sure to express care when providing feedback and demonstrate respect.

Treat your last day as your first

Don’t fall into the trap of checking out during the last few weeks of your job. It’s vital that you remain attentive and enthusiastic about your work.

Until your final day, be engaged and provide the same intensity as you did when you first started. Just because you’re leaving doesn’t mean others aren’t counting on you.

The Golden Rule: Leave respected

In this socially connected world, references are everything. Regardless of your personal feelings, don’t burn bridges. Avoid causing office drama when leaving. Be professional and mature. It’s always in your favor to take the high road.

When bidding goodbye, consider providing LinkedIn recommendations for coworkers and your leadership. As a final gesture, be sure to share your contact info on your last day.