While it may feel satisfying to tell your employer exactly why you’re leaving, it’s best to leave the reasons unsaid and instead take a positive spin on your departure. You’ll want to keep your network intact and protect the relationships you’ve built during your time with your employer. You never know who will be in a position to help you down the road. Think of your exit as equivalent to your entrance in terms of professionalism and integrity.
There are many steps you can take to help leave your job amicably. Here are a few tips on how to give notice gracefully whether you’re giving a two or four weeks’ notice:
Leave on a positive note: Yes, it’s tempting to share with your boss along with everyone else at your company the resentments you’ve built up ever since day one. But it won’t change anything – or if it does, you’ve already moved on to a new position. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll forget past grievances once you begin your new position and your new life. You may as well start being positive now. There’s no point in burning bridges.
Collaborate with your boss to make a plan for your departure: Once you’ve given your boss notice, sit down with them and decide together when you’ll hand over your responsibilities and to whom. Coordinate your last tasks at your company with your boss. It will helpful for both you and for your boss.
Inform coworkers in person: After you and your boss layout your plan, tell people in person that you’re leaving. Whether it’s your direct reports, your good friends at work, your mentors, or anyone who will be impacted by your departure, show them the courtesy of a face-to-face conversation. And ask that mum’s the word for a few days until you can tell everyone.
Take this opportunity to help your colleagues: If there’s an aspect of your job that you think would help a colleague grow in their career, suggest they ask for the responsibility. You still have some influence in your remaining days with the company. Use it to benefit others.
Work right up until the end: Follow up with everyone who is taking over your work to ensure no one misses upcoming deadlines. Complete as many projects as you can before your departure. And transfer anything remaining in an orderly and timely manner. Keep your reputation intact by maintaining your work ethic until it’s time to walk out the door.
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