So you got a new job and now you have to deliver the bad news that you’re putting in your 2 week notice. How do you do it without burning bridges, saving face, and leave the position better for you having been there. Below are some tips that might help you out:
- Have a plan. I don’t recommend quitting a job until you’ve already accepted an offer somewhere else, or have a side income stable enough to cover your basic needs (food, rent, etc.)
- Write a formal resignation letter. Before you tell anyone, be sure to have written a formal letter of resignation. Proof it and make sure its good, it could be the last written work your current employer has of yours.
- Tell your boss first. Always give your boss the news in person before telling anyone else. This is a respect thing. You need to leave in a respectful way and nothing screams disrespect than having your boss find our your quitting from someone else. This also means don’t update your linkedin until after your last day of employment with your current employer. Keep the conversation short, polite, positive and respectful. Be appreciative of the opportunity, even if you know you’ll never come back to work here, you still want to leave on a good note, as potential future employers may call this company for a reference.
- Be ready for questions. Make sure you’ve created a transition plan if you think the company will back-fill your job. Have some sort of written “manual” on things that depend on you and only you to do. If you have accounts that need to be transitioned to someone else, be sure they are documented. Be prepared for the counter offer. In today’s economy its common to receive a counter offer to stay, but don’t count on it. Some bosses, like me, don’t like giving counter offers. If you get one, be sure you know what you’ll say before hand. See my episode on negotiation skills for more details. Don’t hide where you’re going, that’s just creepy. Be honest and open, but never talk about salaries.
- Remain professional and work your butt off for your remaining days. Don’t succumb to the temptation to slack off. This is the time to work your hardest so that you can ensure you leave the best possible impression on your co-workers and your boss. You want them to remember you at your best incase you need them for references… plus, it’s just the right thing to do.
- Once you’re time is up, leave respectfully. Be sure to go out of your way to spend a few extra minutes telling folks bye and thanking them for the knowledge and experience you gained from them. Feel free to send out a group email to folks with your personal contact numbers, etc. if you want to stay in contact with anyone. Avoid saying anything negative about your current boss, job or employer.
- Follow up. Try to reach out to folks on your old team, your old boss or others that you’ve built strong relationships with. Offer to take them to lunch and keep in touch. Tell them about your new job and ask questions about how things are going. It’s important to maintain those relationships the best you can. Its good for you and them.
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