When you make the decision to quit your job, it can feel like the end of an era. In many ways, it is. But, it’s important to remember that it’s also the beginning of something new.
It would benefit you to ride the waves of this transition phase with maturity and thoughtfulness. The way you spend your last few days and weeks at your old job could actually have a pretty big impact on your future. So, handle them with care.
1. Don’t hide.
The first thing you need to know is that there is nothing wrong with moving on. There is nothing for you to feel bad about here. There’s certainly no reason for you to hide your face around the office.
You’ll likely get all kinds of different reactions once the change has been announced. The best thing you can do is face this transition with confidence. The average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times over the course of their career. You’re really not doing anything that unusual.
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2. Don’t burn bridges.
You’ve likely heard this advice before. There’s good reason for that. Although it might be tempting, resist doing anything that will sour your relationship with your soon-to-be-former coworkers. You never know when the connections you’ve made there could come in handy.
Also, someone from your old job could resurface in your life. You do work in the same industry, after all. Even if you’re changing careers entirely, or moving to a new location, you really don’t know what the future holds. So, don’t burn any bridges — you could regret it later.
3. Don’t slack off.
It can be tempting to relax a little when you know you’re on your way out the door. It’s sort of the adult equivalent of “senior slump.” But, if you’d like to leave with your reputation and relationships intact — refrain.
4. Don’t forget to say thank you.
Say thanks, just like your parents taught you. It’s not just the polite thing to do, it’s the most professional move.
You don’t have to go on and on, and you shouldn’t say anything that you don’t mean. In fact, it’s best for you to be sincere and to the point. If you’re interested in leaving a great final impression, try offering a dose of simple appreciation as you leave.
5. Don’t talk trash about the company.
Once you’ve made the announcement that you’re leaving, you’ll likely begin to notice things about your job, and your company, that you didn’t notice before. It’s easier (and safer) to see everything that isn’t working, now that your days there are numbered. But remember, others aren’t leaving — just you. So, don’t talk trash about the company with your coworkers. In the end, it won’t do anyone any favors.
6. Don’t trash the people that work there, either.
Similarly, refrain from gossiping about your boss or coworkers during your final days. Sure, there are people you’re glad to be getting away from. But, you’d be better off keeping those feelings to yourself. What good could come from talking with others about it? Save those conversations for personal friends outside of the office.
There’s no reason you should lose touch with the people you care about most just because you’re leaving. In fact, you really ought to go out of your way to keep in touch with them. Also, you never know what the future holds. It will take some effort to maintain these relationships once you’ve moved on. But, it’s likely in your best interest, for professional reasons as well as personal ones, to do so.
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