How to leave a job well

You’ve decided that it’s time to move on from your job, you’ve applied for a new job, been interviewed, and been given a job offer. Now it’s time to leave your current workplace for pastures new. What next? No matter how badly you want to leave a job, it is important to not burn bridges. The world is a small place and you don’t know where you might meet your previous employer again. Therefore, try as much as possible to leave on good terms. Here are a few ways you can do that:

 

1. Write a good resignation letter. There are many simple resignation letter templates online and you could use one of those. A simple letter informing your boss / employer of your intention to resign, that also states when your last working day will be, as per your notice period, would suffice. However, you may also wish to go into more detail about your reason for leaving, if you feel that it is necessary. It is important to remain professional, even if the reason you’re leaving is due to the work environment itself. Avoid slating your employer or other colleagues. It is an opportunity to thank your employer for what you’ve learnt and the opportunities you have been given on the job. You don’t have to lie, or go into too much detail, but even the bad experiences teach us something about ourselves.

2. Ask for an exit interview. An exit interview is an opportunity for you to give your honest but constructive feedback on how the company / organisation can improve working practices. It is also an opportunity for you to expatiate on your reasons for leaving if you want to. Not every employer will give you an exit interview, but it is worth taking one if you have the opportunity.

3. Work your full notice period. Most people have a notice period stated on their contract, but once you’ve resigned it can be tempting to ignore that and just leave, especially if you’re leaving a toxic work environment. It is important to note that there may be consequences for not working your notice period, but even if there are none, it is always a good idea to work your full notice period. If you’re not able to, for whatever reason, inform your employer and try to come to a compromise with them where possible. Bear in mind that leaving a job early could mean that the company will not have had sufficient time to recruit into your post. Leaving your company in the lurch is not how you want to end a working relationship.

4. Remain diligent to the end. As Christians we are called to live a life of godliness at all times. In the workplace, this means showing up, being diligent in our work and being an all-round good employee. When leaving a job, it can be easy to just count down the days until you leave but remember that you are still an employee of that organisation until your last day. Avoid doing anything that could jeopardize your future career- calling in sick, turning up late or turning in poor quality work.

5. Do a proper handover. If possible, complete all your outstanding projects or other work that you’ve been working on. If your replacement has been recruited during your notice period, endeavour to hand over any uncompleted projects to them. Offer to train them as required and provide all the necessary support that is needed.

 

There are many reasons why one may decide to leave a job- promotions and other career opportunities, life changes e.g. moving homes, or to pursue other passions. Whatever the reason, it is important that when the time comes, you try as much as is within your control, to leave on good terms.