Tips on Professionally Leaving Your Job | Quitting in a Positive Way

Moving ahead with your career is cause for celebration. But those left in your wake may feel less jubilant. The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that, on average, a worker will change jobs every four or so years. The contacts and relationships that you have established may prove valuable later in terms of networking, references, or as a source of knowledge for your new role. Protect and nurture your relationships and quit sensibly.

The main concern for you and your employer is to find a suitable replacement. Provide plenty of notice and offer to help with the search and recruitment. Doing so will ease employer concerns. Consider if there is an internal candidate who is deserving and who might be quicker and easier to train. Michael Peggs, contributor to Careerealism, offers advice to make your departure a positive one.

  • Prepare a job description and consider the most important aspects of your job and the skills required. Search for suitable candidates, screen them, offer to join the interview panel, and train the incumbent. Much of your knowledge is proprietary to the company and should not leave with you. 
  • Don’t leave unfinished work. If there are any projects that you cannot complete, provide extensive instructions including a handover note. Consider writing “how to” instructions for any habitual tasks that might make an incumbent’s job easier. 
  • Offer to provide constructive feedback to the company if you think it will be useful. However, provide it only if they ask for it. Providing unsolicited feedback could be risky and compromising good will is not advisable.

Additionally, secure any references before you leave and plan to keep in touch with those individuals. Business involves networking; try to remain in touch with your industry colleagues at events, conferences, or socially.

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