You've just accepted an offer for a job with a different company, and you're ready to kiss your current employer goodbye. In fact, given the choice, you'd call in sick for the next two weeks and never return.
First things first - you need to tell your current employer you're leaving.
What can you do to make your transition as smooth as possible without burning any bridges?
THINGS YOU SHOULD DO:
• Give your notice in person to your manager. Assuming, of course, that this is possible - sometimes your manager works remotely, making this infeasible. But giving your notice face-to-face allows you to show the utmost respect.
• Be grateful. Thank your manager - profusely - for the opportunities they have given you. Even if you hate your job, show gratitude for what you gained.
• Tell your manager that the decision to leave was a difficult one. It takes a lot to leave a job behind, even a difficult job.
• Talk nicely about your employer and co-workers. Make clear that your employer runs a nice place to work, implying that you'd like to leave the door open in the future.
• Provide a written letter of resignation. HR will want this for the files, but even if they don't, it's a nice way to provide a written record of your gratitude for the opportunity.
• Give at least two weeks' notice. This will provide ample time to facilitate the transition of your function at work. It takes time for everybody to learn what you're working on and distribute what you've been handling.
• Be fair and balanced in your exit interview. The exit interview isn't an opportunity to unload every grievance you've been carrying around since the day you started; it's a chance for you to give objective feedback about what the company can truly do better. Choose what you say wisely - maintain a positive tone, and only bring up things that can be realistically changed. And pointing out all that stuff you don't like about your boss (and will never change) won't make you look good. I hate to say this, but filter what you say...
THINGS YOU SHOULD AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE:
• Badmouthing your coworkers or boss. What will you gain, except some ill will from people you may run into again?
• Telling the company you'd entertain a counteroffer. Counteroffers are a difficult topic even when your employer brings it up. But when you solicit a counteroffer for the company to keep you, you look like a greedy jerk who went out and got another job offer so that you could hit up your current employer for more money. You'd look incredibly disloyal.
• Giving less than two weeks' notice. Unless there's a truly extenuating circumstance, give and honor two weeks. Otherwise you're leaving your employer high and dry.
• Taking all your vacation and sick days after giving your notice. Why bother giving notice if you're not going to be around to help with the transition?
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.