Inevitably, there will be times in your life when a job is simply not the right fit. How you handle it will affect the course of your career from that moment forward. If you ask for advice on how to leave a job gracefully, you are likely to get any number of answers including “It isn’t possible.” However, there is some basic etiquette that can help make your transition in a professional way.
- Manage the anger. This not only applies to you but to your co-workers as well. We never want to face the anger of others in the workplace, and this fear can be crippling. In truth, anger dies quickly as long as you don’t express hard feelings about the process. Be positive to and about your team even after you put in your notice.
- Review your obligations. Take time to read through all of the new hire paperwork you signed when you started the job. What are you obligated to return, contribute to, or sign before you leave? This information should have been expressed at the time you were hired, but will also be available in the company handbook or with your HR department. If you are uncertain about the language, you may wish to consult with an employment expert or lawyer to make sure you understand completely.
- Be cautious on social media. Don’t go to your network and begin to badmouth your current employer. Even if you feel as though they deserve to be “exposed” for treatment you feel was unjust, this is simply a bad idea. Posts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are available on the internet forever, even if you eventually delete them. Not only could you face the potential for legal issues with your former company, but it may sway future employers away from considering you as well.
- Don’t use company technology. While you’re planning your transition, don’t use your corporate email account or any of the office equipment. Don’t print your resume out at the office. Be cautious and courteous so you have control when it comes time to put in your notice. If your management team determines you may have been violating company policy by looking for another job, the choice to quit may be taken out of your hands.
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