Leaving a Job With Tact

28 Mar

College students seem to focus more on successfully finding a job than successfully leaving one; however, understanding how to best leave a current employer for an alternative job is an important skill for an employee to acquire.  For example, last summer, I worked as a tennis coach for a small tennis club.  Due to the necessity for business majors to find a summer internship to gain valuable work experience, I had to shift my focus and obtain a job in the corporate world.  When I finally found an internship in the financial industry, I had to reluctantly tell my former employer I could no longer work for him.  If you have to leave a job for any reason, here are five steps you can take to quit your current job in a courteous and respectful manner while maintaining a good relationship with the company.

Keep fellow employees in the dark: We all know how fast rumors can spread in any group.  By not discussing your future plans with fellow employees, even your good friends in the office, you reduce the risk of your boss discovering your plans through the gossip chain, before you are ready to tell him or her yourself.

Do not criticize your boss:  Once you commit to leave your current job, you might be tempted to discuss your personal feelings toward your boss with others in the office.  Not only do such actions make you look foolish, but also, could ruin relationships you have built with your boss and coworkers.  With current access to social media, you have the ability to reach a large number of people with your thoughts, including your boss.  Be wary of posting reasons for your decision online, unless they are not incrementing to any party.  This choice maintains your integrity and positive image.

Quit in person: If you are about to break up with a significant boyfriend or girlfriend, I certainly hope you would give him or her the courtesy of conveying your opinions in person.  Receiving information of this sort via email or text comes off as disrespectful and inappropriate.  Quitting a job is not any different.  You owe your boss the courtesy of telling him or her in person and explaining why you are making your decision.  Just because you have a new opportunity to work someplace else, does not mean that you want to dissolve relationships you built during your time at the office.  As I mentioned with my personal experience with this summer’s employment, I really enjoyed the people I worked with and have full intentions of continuing my relationship with them.  Though I am leaving for a new opportunity, I still want to maintain my past connections for possible future employment.

Keep emotions out of the office: Once you decide to leave a job, many emotions can run through your mind.  You can feel angry and frustrated with the way things are run in your current workplace, or a deep resentment for leaving, if you have forged great relationships.  According to Amber Mac, a blogger on Fast Company, “Remove the words ‘I feel’ from either verbal conversations or written conversations in the workplace.”  By focusing on the facts and not the emotions you will have an easier time avoiding conflict.

Keep your options open: No matter how you feel, do not dissolve connections you have worked hard to build.  You never know when those connections may come in handy for a referral or a future job opening.  Networking is imperative in business, and one way to maintain your network is to respectfully and professionally quit your job by following these five simple hints.

by Max Franklin

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/1824779/how-to-quit-your-job-gracefully-if-youre-not-greg-smith


2 Responses to “Leaving a Job With Tact”

  1. Kyle Lee April 15, 2012 at 5:35 am #

    Max, thanks for sharing this. I agree with you that getting a good job is merely the first step. In many cases, employees who feel the need for a change must learn how to terminate a business relationship with a company. I think controlling emotion is the most important part, as it determines your final impression from your boss. Essentially, all comments have to well-thought out because you might need a letter of recommendation later on. The comments have to be honest to address the issue (if there were any), but at the same time, they should be respectful of the manager or boss.

  2. seanfeng April 17, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    I think your last piece of advice, “keep your options open,” can really apply to leaving an internship with tact. Internships are usually predetermined lengths of time, so it is no secret that the interns are planning to leave eventually. However, I think many people have a problem with keeping in touch with former employers and coworkers. I personally did not keep in contact well enough after my last internship, which made my experience with asking my old boss for a reference letter awkward. For the future, I definitely want to maintain my connections as long as possible, especially until I get a permanent job.

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