When leaving a job, try your best to leave on good terms with your boss and co-workers. These people can serve as references for you in the future. It’s a small world. People know people. You might have to work with any of these people again, down the road. Avoid burning any bridges. Your work ethics and professionalism, or lack of, will be remembered and can have long-term consequences in your career trajectory.
Here are 9 mistakes to avoid when you are leaving a job:
1. Being indecisive.
Think carefully about your decision to leave. If a salary hike or title promotion can convince you to stay, discuss it with your boss before mentioning anything about quitting. Don’t use quitting as a bargaining tool; even if you decide to stay it will sour your working relationship.
2. Leaving without a job offer in hand.
Try to leave only when the next job is certain. You don’t want a gap on your resume which may hamper your job search down the line. Even if you hate your job, persevere long enough to line up another job.
3. Leaving without giving proper notice.
Adhere to the required notice period in your contract if specified. Give a shorter notice only if it’s a very unbearably toxic work environment. Adequate notice is required by the company to search for a replacement and assign a person in the interim. Leaving without serving your notice period can damage your reputation in professional circles.
4. Not telling your boss first.
Inform your boss that you’re quitting your job before you tell your co-workers. This shows respect and professionalism. This also helps the management to thoughtfully prepare how to announce this news to the other workers and field their questions. If you tell colleagues first and your boss hears that you’re leaving from them, your boss is going to feel sidelined and disrespected, which could undermine your ability to get a good reference.
5. Not helping with the transition.
Try to make the transition as smooth as possible for all concerned – the boss, the successor and the organization as a whole. Tie all loose ends, document work in progress, update files and status reports on projects. Train your replacement if appointed and asked to by the management. Introduce the person to the clients and colleagues they’ll be working with.
6. Doing a tell-all at your exit interview.
Whatever your reasons are for leaving a job, don’t treat an exit interview with HR as a time to criticize your boss or co-worker. Take a balanced approach by sharing things that you love about the company, in addition to some honest constructive feedback. It is best to leave on amicable terms in case you ever decide to return in the future.
7. Not deleting personal files on your office computer.
Don’t leave any sensitive personal information, identity proofs, etc. which could be misused later. Your company owns whatever is on your work email and work computer. Make a clean exit. Don’t leave any personal belongings in your drawer or desk either for which you have to awkwardly return to collect.
8. Forgetting to ask for and to give recommendations.
Try to be cordial to the very end. This is essential to secure your references or recommendations, your salary dues, etc. Future employers may ask to connect with references from the company that you are leaving. Also, remember to write recommendations for your former colleagues and boss on sites such as LinkedIn as a thank you and goodwill gesture.
9. Staying longer than necessary.
Unless asked to stay on by the boss to train the replacement, don’t overstay your welcome. It can be a financial burden too for the employer. You are also not obligated to stay any longer than is necessary
Remember to quit smartly and strategically. Staying committed to the job up until the very last day will help you to leave with respect and with your reputation intact. Avoid the above-mentioned pitfalls and make a clean getaway.