How Can You Leave a Job With Grace?

How Can You Leave a Job With Grace? image How can you leave a job with grace  300x142You are moving onward and upward, and leaving your place of employment. So how can you leave your job in such a classy way that your boss and co-workers will be truly sad to see you go, and will think well of you? Here are a few tips:

Give sufficient notice that you are leaving

You need to give two weeks’ notice, not a two minute warning, when you leave the job. And if you have a position where it would be appropriate to give a longer notice, or you signed a contract in which you agreed to stay for a longer period of time before leaving, you must do so.

Write a resignation letter, and say thanks

This is especially important, as it will most likely go into your personnel file. Be sure to thank the organization for your time there, and for the opportunity, but explain that you are moving on, and give notice. Even if you hated the job, and clashed with your boss, do not mention any of that in your email. Don’t settle scores in your note. Keep in mind that long after you are gone, somebody could pull up your resignation letter if a future would-be employer inquires about you, so don’t say anything outrageous.

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Write down instructions on how to do your job

This depends upon your individual situation, but it is a good idea to write down a list of what you do, and how to do it if there are specific procedures involved. Of course, this advice doesn’t apply to all jobs, but if it does, write down the information to be used by your successor. You can also offer to answer questions from your old place of employment after you are gone, within reason.

Don’t lord it over to others about your new job

So you are getting a great salary, sweet perks and killer travel privileges at your new job. Great. But keep your mouth shut about bragging about it at your old workplace. You don’t want to be known as a braggart who is making your current co-workers feel envious. Career coaches say that you should show some grace and class here.

Be ready to leave at a moment’s notice

Some employers, depending upon their individual policies, may not allow you to stay after you give your notice. So keep that in mind when getting ready to leave. You want to have your files and your office in order so that you can leave without a hassle.

Don’t trash your old employer

Speaking of which, the best way to move on in most cases is to take the moral high ground, even if you hated the place. Generally speaking, it is best never to criticize your old place of employment either publicly or privately. And that includes on social media like on Facebook. Even if you are totally in the right about your old boss being a jerk, and the place being a nightmare to work for, saying so will make you look bad. And don’t burn any bridges. This especially goes for talking about your old workplace at your new workplace – your new employer will wonder if you will trash them one day.

Thank individual people

Be sure to write written thank-you notes to your old supervisor, mentors at the workplace, and co-workers who made your life easier. Thank them specifically for what they did to help you. Such gestures will be appreciated. Also, be sure to write a farewell note to your department, with your contact information.

Stay in touch

Keep in touch with, and on good terms with, your old company. You may never know when they may be able to help you one day, or when you may be able to help them. Keep in mind that you could be working together in the future, so don’t be a stranger.

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Comments: 2

  • Lisa, reminds me of the adage, “discretion is the better part of valor.” In our coaching and placement practice we find that those who heed this great advice will be successful in their next endeavor, and as such we are more inclined to refer them to open positions. Those that do not, well, working with a half-empty cup does not fill the well for any potential employer.

  • Lisa says:

    Warren, that is so true! And I like the way you eloquently phrase that, too. Take care.

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