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Is There A Right Way To Leave Your Job?


Leaving your job can be a difficult and painstakingly long process. I remember when I went to my previous manager and informed him that I was leaving; every second felt like an hour and I had countless thoughts and emotions. I also experienced doubt and second guessed my every decision. This experience is probably very similar to what you are going through right now; which is why you have found yourself looking at this article.

I Want To Do This the Right Way

Simply put, there is no absolute right way to leave a job. However, there are countless wrong ways to leave a job. You might be leaving for negative reasons such as bad management or personal issues; you need to focus on the positives and what you can take away from the experiences that you have had in your current role. Use this as an opportunity to express gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity that has been presented to you. Respectfully indicate that you will be taking your career in a different direction.

Clear Communication is Vital

Giving clear expectations are essential when discussing your timeline. Don’t be wishy-washy in determining the date that will be your last day. For instance, “My last day will be effective as of //****” sounds a lot different than, “My last day will be in about two weeks or so”. Now is the time to confidently communicate.

Think back upon why you are leaving and why you like your next opportunity. Anticipate the counter offer! You didn’t start looking for a new job and spend all those hours, days, weeks, and months to interview and accept an offer to throw it away for a small pay raise.

My bet is you are looking for a new opportunity due to other variables that are much bigger than just pay. Remember that. Eighty percent of people that accept a counter offer start looking for a new opportunity within six months of acceptance.

Your Integrity Is Worth More

It is at this point that you might consider the capacity of your work for the remaining ‘notice’ whether it be two weeks, a month, or until a replacement is found. Offering to train and be of service to the company that you currently reside at is a great way to leave on a positive note.

If you are in a manager/supervisor role, do not compromise your work because you are no longer invested or focused on the current company. Your integrity is more important than that. Remember, how you exit a company can oftentimes define how you enter your next opportunity.

Who Should You Involve?

Who should you include when informing your company that you no longer plan to continue employment? The obvious answer is your immediate manager/supervisor. I would recommend that you email a letter of resignation to the Human Resources department as well. Bigger companies can lose track of the details and you want to make sure that everything is in accordance before you leave. You don’t want to be called after to find out that you left on bad terms due to a No Call No Show even though records should clearly indicate you had already left. Don’t forget to let your peers know of your intent to leave as well. These are friends, family, and possible references that you will either need in your next role or in the future. Thank them for all that they have helped you accomplish and wish them the best. Don’t burn bridges; this is a great time to mend fences and leave on a very positive note. If you have cultivated positive relationships, now is a time to manage the ending in a way that continues that association.

Keep It Big Picture

The key to leaving a job in the right way is by focusing on the positives. With every interaction in your last days/weeks of employment, give positive energy and communicate genuinely. Motivate and inspire those around you and thank them for the impact that they have had on your professional and personal growth. This might not come natural to you; it didn’t come natural for me. However, the importance of this simple act is profound! Imagine yourself in their shoes. Hopefully, you are in a position where you will be missed by peers, managers, and people who you manage. Anticipate the water works. It caught me off guard how many people became emotional at my departure. I have found many times that people do not fully realize the impact they have on peoples lives. Appreciate this. Don’t underestimate the impact of these interactions and keep top of mind that you have made a commitment to your future self to move forward.

Moving Forward

I wish you the best in your next venture and hope that these words help prepare you for the difficult conversations, emotions, and possible second guessing that will occur when making such difficult decisions. People leave companies because they are unhappy. It doesn’t matter how much money you are making, if you aren’t happy, you will start looking for new opportunities.

What are your thoughts? What did you like and what did I miss? Have you found something to be significant or true to your past experiences? Share below!

Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn

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Leaving Your Job The Right Way Author Omaha Account Manager Jonathan Miller

Omaha Account Manager Jonathan Miller graduated from the University of South Dakota with his degree in psychology. He joined the Celebrity Staff team in 2018 and has enjoyed building rapport with businesses and helping candidates build their careers. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, including two beautiful daughters. He enjoys golfing and cheering for the Patriots.

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