When you think it's time to leave your job, how do you depart in a way that avoids personal and professional repercussions?
There’s no perfect way, but there are some smart moves to make your exit smooth, easier on your soon-to-be former boss and a breeze for you, said Forrest Wildes, director of strategic accounts for Harris Waste Management Group, a company based in Georgia.
"I would advise the person to make sure that they have considered all the pros and cons about the job they have and that their decision is final," Wildes said.
"I would suggest a meeting with your boss and explain that, for whatever reason, you feel led to take another job or you are moving or whatever the reason," Wildes added.
Below, other career experts offer insight on the three significant things to consider when you decide to call it quits with your job.
Will this decision lead you on the right path? Will you regret quitting, considering the consequences? Are you fearful? Do you feel guilty?
If you are certain this decision is right, you may want to follow these suggestions from IdealistCareers.org:
- Prepare yourself mentally by listing three things about your current job that make you feel grateful and three things about your new venture that excite you.
- List briefly why this transition is right for you in order to build closure and acknowledge the present in a positive way while mentally preparing you for the future.
- Create a loose transition plan for your boss, listing your biggest responsibilities, the status of any ongoing projects and a back-up point of contact for your work. Whether or not your boss accepts your plan, by being positive and proactive, you will show respect for the organization and lessen the chance of getting a negative reaction.
- Envision what you can do to make the transition easier on the team, and list a few goals you plan to accomplish before your last day; but set reasonable boundaries for yourself such as not extending the standard two-week notice.
Consider your employer
- Arrange a short, in-person meeting with your manager.
- Use the "compliment sandwich" method: Sandwich the news that you are leaving between the positive of what you are grateful for during your time there and the proactive transition plan you've created. Don't try to control his/her reaction to your news.
Consider your family
How will leaving your job affect your family? Have you discussed your plans with them before you do the final deed of submitting your notice? Have you secured another job before submitting your notice? If not, do you have enough in savings to carry you and your family through until you can secure another job?
Final word, according to Wildes:
"Leave under good conditions if at all possible. Never burn the bridge if you can help it. You never know when you may need a reference or even need your old job back!"
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.