Friday 24 June 2016

We're gonna teach 'em how to say goodbye...

So often, we're taught about best strategies to get a job and start working in a job. However, resigning and leaving is also an important process, and the way that you approach the end of your term in a job will still leave an important impression which may come back to haunt you if you do it badly. So, mindful of my imminent departure for my job, here's...

Ten tips for people who are leaving their job:

1. Always resign in person. This should go without saying. A job isn't a not-that-serious relationship that you had when you were nineteen when you dumped them over the phone. Grow a backbone, and do it face to face.

2. Be ready for people to ask you why you're leaving. If you've got another job to go to, then that's great. If not, then there will be questions. Make like a boy scout and be prepared.

3. Remember, you're still employed to do a job until your last day. So often, people start flaking out a week or two before they finish. Don't be that person. You've made it this far - you can stand to keep working hard until the final checkout.

4. Start cleaning up your workspace early. Like, a week in advance. You'll find all kinds of cool tidbits from your past work that you can share with your colleagues. Basically, clean out everything except what you're currently working on, and as you complete each remaining task, clear it from your workspace.

5. Finish well. Do everything in your power to complete everything that you're currently working on. If you can't, write some good handover notes.

6. Don't be surprised if some people treat you like you've already left. It might feel personal - and some colleagues might feel awkward or betrayed by your imminent departure, and focus on others. Or they might just want to avoid giving you more work as you're finishing things off.

7. Let go. As above, your boss is probably already working on creating new directions in your wake. It's perfectly natural to want to make sure that you leave your job in good hands for the next person, and you should certainly support your boss in this, if requested. But you don't get to call the shots.

8. Mend bridges - don't burn them. You've probably had tensions with some colleagues over your time working in the organisation. Now's your last chance to bury the hatchet, even if it's just a chance to shake their hand and tell them that it's been a valuable experience working with them.

9. Make yourself available for a chat to the head of your organisation, if possible. Even if you've never spoken to them before, this is a good chance to end the job on a professional note. They may even ask you for feedback on your experience of working in the organisation, and this is an opportunity to be completely honest.

10. Say goodbye properly. Make yourself available to your closest colleagues to enjoy those social moments on your last day. You've cohabited with them eight hours for the last few years of your life. If it's hard for you to leave, then it's going to be difficult for them too. Respect the fact that, whilst we're all professionals, we're also human too.

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