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Leaving a Position on a Positive Note

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You’re ready to leave your current position, and there isn’t much your boss can say to change your mind. You may or may not have been presented with a counter offer, but it doesn’t matter; you’re on your way out the door. You may be unhappy in this place, or maybe you’re just ready to focus your attention on the future, but in either case, it’s time to make your exit, and you’d like to step out with class, dignity, and a clean break. Here are five moves that can help you leave positive memories and strong relationships behind.

Give two weeks notice.

When it comes to giving notice, too much and too little can both work against you. Too much and you may be hustled out the door before you’re ready. Too little, and your managers may not have enough time to find your replacement. Two weeks of notice is standard, expected, and professional.

Tie up your projects and loose ends.

Giving notice is important, but don’t stop there. During that time, make a good faith effort to pass off all of your projects and responsibilities and make sure they’re in good hands. Train your replacement if there’s an overlap between the two of you, and if not, make sure your files are in order and clearly labeled and make a clear list of your duties and the steps you take to carry them out.

Don’t overexplain.

There’s no need to explain or apologize, even if your boss expresses dismay at your intention to leave. As long as you’re not breaking a signed contract and you’re working under an at-will agreement, you’re free to leave at any time, for any reason. In fact, the average tenure for a professional employee with any given workplace now hovers at around 2.5 years.

Don’t be tempted to phone it in.

Even though you’ll be leaving soon, stay focused and dialed in until the last minute of your last day. That way you’ll be less likely to leave your coworkers and boss with hassles and problems to sort out. Make sure you show respect for the people and the environment around you in everything you do, say, and even wear (dress professionally until your last day.)

What happens here stays here.

It goes without saying that you should never publically criticize or disparage your former employer (unless, of course, they were guilty of illegal or unethical practices). It’s also smart to keep proprietary information to yourself, including practices, formulas, projects, and client lists. Don’t use these protected details to impress employers in the future—just keep the conversation focused on your own skills and credentials.

Watch your step until the door closes behind you. For more on how to keep your reputation and relationships intact, contact the Little Rock staffing experts at CSS.

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