Leaving a Job on a Good Note

May 1st, 2018

In today’s market, it’s not uncommon for employees to change jobs in search of better opportunities. In fact, it was estimated that about 3.2 million Americans quit their jobs in just the month of August in 2017 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In a sense, “job-hopping” has become the norm– however, that doesn’t circumvent the process of quitting a job or make it any easier.

Just as there are many strategies to take into consideration when applying for a position, a similar approach is also beneficial when leaving a job. A well-thought-out approach can not only prevent any awkwardness or ill will, but set foundations for strong professional relationships going forward. Because paths between employees may cross even after they switch jobs (especially if they stay in the same field) it’s important to leave a company on a good note.

There are many ways to go about quitting a job, but only a few can ensure the possibility to form strong relationships that will last through the entirety of one’s career. To establish this, it’s essential that the boss is the first person told about this big change. The amount of time given as notice is also of equal importance. While the standard time frame is two weeks before, it is highly appreciated when the notice is given even further in advance. This is to account for the copious amount of time it takes to hire and train a new employee.

Once the boss is given notice, coworkers should be the next to know. Keeping fellow employees informed and giving them certain ways to remain in contact (such as through a personal email) maintains good relations and a positive outlook on the situation. To continue these good feelings, it’s crucial that all projects and tasks are completed both on time and well so that there are no loose ends left behind for someone else to take care of.

Similarly, due to the resources needed to train a new employee, it would leave a great impression to help in the training process by possibly writing an outline of skills needed, job challenges that might be faced or feedback regarding the role for the next person who fills the position. This will help ensure that the loss of one employee is a smooth transition and does not affect the company nearly as much. It’s one last way to give back to the company for the opportunities it provided in the first place.

On that note, it would also be helpful to ask for an exit interview (if it’s not already in company protocol) to thank the company and management for all the opportunities given and to give any feedback for the next employee that fills the position. Lastly, a thank you note to management and coworkers concludes the process to the positive ending of a job. Following these guidelines can not only make a potentially tough situation into a smooth transition, but also create solid personal and professional relationships that serve one well in their career going forward.