At some stage most people will leave a company but that begs a question. How do you handle it?
As a Search recruiter we’ve experienced all kinds of exits; from the perfectly “stage managed” to the catastrophic. So here’s some advice on resigning.
If you need to resign, here’s some tips to ensure you leave on the best possible terms, and keep those all important industry relationships intact.
Time your exit:
A great many people work on a project by project basis, and even if your job isn’t like that there are likely major “activities” with a natural start & finish point. Although it’s not always possible, our advice is to time your exit to a more natural milestone or break in your work so as to minimise the negative disruption that your exit will cause. Mindful managers & leaders will appreciate this.
Work at 100% right up until the day you leave:
Many people “down tools” when they resign and move into autopilot. Although it’s very difficult not to do this, your years of hard work and positive contribution to your employer can be undone in a few days with a negative or “not bothered” attitude. Most people work within a specific industry or discipline for their entire careers, and it’s a relatively common occurrence for former colleagues to join your existing company.
We informally “reference check” people every day from talking to present/former colleagues. Remember – every minute you are at work, you are “on show” so don’t let your standards slip. The majority will remember the bad over the good – so don’t give them any ammunition. It could damage your reputationin the future.
The overriding fact is that the top performers always give 100% every day, irrelevant of what the work situation is. This is a great habit to form.
Deliver an efficient work handover:
It’s your responsibility as a professional to give an efficient handover of your work. This is the last thing you will leave so make sure it’s the best it can be. The last thing you want is “XYZ left this unfinished / in a mess” gossip to tarnish your reputation.
Leave with dignity:
Irrelevant of your personal grievances, issues with work colleagues or the business it is our advice to steer clear of any negative confrontations, conversations or throw-away comments which could antagonise. You have to be realistic that you leaving a business is an overwhelmingly negative situation; so any negative comments will only grow and fester when you’ve left and affect your reputation. We’ve heard of little “thanks” gifts to colleagues on the last day that leave a positive feeling once you’ve gone.
We’ve lost count of the number of times an ex-MD turns up as the new MD further down the line as a result of a merger or acquisition.
Good luck and don’t burn any bridges when you resign.