When you quit a job, be sure you leave behind an impression of professionalism. If you don’t, the adverse feelings you leave with your manager and colleagues will erase all the goodwill you worked hard to create. No matter how you feel about your job or coworkers, how you leave reflects on your character and judgment. Because you want a good reference, and you might work with colleagues for a different employer down the road, you want to move on in a professional manner.
Here are five tips to build bridges, rather than burn them, when you leave your job.
1. Give Appropriate Notice
Provide your manager with enough notice. In many cases, this is two weeks. In some roles or industries, the norm may be one or two months or longer. You need enough time to finish projects, tie up loose ends, and potentially train your replacement. Be sure to talk with you manager about leaving before you talk with coworkers. You don’t want your manager finding out secondhand that you’re moving on.
2. Document Your Job
Write down your job duties and how you perform them. Your manager and colleagues probably aren’t aware of the day-to-day tasks you’re responsible for. Make note of your regular reports, passwords for everything you control, client lists, scheduled meetings, project statuses, and procedures. Colleagues and your replacement can use the information for a smooth transition.
3. Remain Productive
Stay busy until the end of your notice period. Your manager and colleagues will remember your behavior as you were getting ready to leave the company. Continue to come in early and stay late when needed. Finish tasks and projects. Fulfill your responsibilities.
4. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Continue to have a positive attitude about your employer. Mention that although you’re excited about your new position, you’re going to miss your current manager and colleagues. Speak highly of your coworkers and organization to your connections. You never know who knows whom in your industry or what they may discuss about you. Keep your social media posts positive for the same reason. Focus on sharing encouraging things about the company and its employees.
5. Reach Out to Connections
Be sure to continue reaching out to connections on LinkedIn. Send them a short note along with articles, white papers, or other content that may interest them. You might need to ask your connections to provide a reference for you at some point. Remain open to helping them however you can.
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