As an employee with any organization, a day will come, sooner or later when you’ll have to say goodbye. Leaving a workplace could be because you’re switching career, changing jobs, relocating or for some unfortunate reason such as getting laid-off. It happens every day and everywhere. When the reason you’re leaving is because you got booted out, then the burden of tidying up isn’t on you. If it’s the other way round, you have to do it right.
The way you leave is as important as the way you got on board. Leave, letting your colleagues know that you are leaving as a friend. Do not make the mistake of burning bridges just because you are leaving a place.
How to do it right: Be sure you’ve tightened all the details about your new job before informing your current employer that you’re leaving. It’s good to give advance notice according to the office policy that you’re leaving, but that must only be done after you are sure everything is set on the other side.
Here is a true account of a near employment tragedy – A friend had started his onboarding process at a new place but had the employment rescinded without warning and before he even got in physically. They had created his network account and credentials. He had started setting up his account and completing some other pre-onboarding processes when the call for cancellation came. What saved the day for him was that he had not yet informed his current employer about leaving. In a nutshell, make sure you have the formal offer letter in hand.
Make sure that you do not leave a workplace with jobs half done or irresponsibly. Do not burn bridges just because you are leaving.
Plan your transition wisely: Don’t leave your current place in a confused state. Do it professionally. Hand over appropriately. Complete the ongoing projects if you can, or train the person taking over from you. If not leave a note behind on where things stand. It is not wise to leave loose ends. And the best way to go about this is to start from day one. Document your geniuses.
Back up your personal files: If you have a non-company data on your system you may not get the chance to do so. But if you are allowed and you have your personal information in the computer, load them to your personal drive before deleting from the official computer.
Inform your supervisor: Discuss first with your reporting line before you discuss with any other person within the organization about your plans of leaving. You don’t want to start a rumor or have your reporting line hear it from the grapevine. It won’t be an easy conversation, but it can be pleasant if you handle it well.
Be prepared: Give your boss very solid and positive reasons for deciding to leave. If they value your work, your employer can give you an attractive counteroffer. Have the right words ready. If you ask me, I would say re-negotiation should come before a counteroffer. It’s a bit tricky. If you say you’re leaving, then by all means, leave. You may get a backlash if you change your mind after informing them that you are leaving.
Talk to your team: After informing your manager let your team members know. If you’re interfacing clients, figure it out with your manager how the clients will be informed.
Find out the disengaging policy of your organization: Follow the policy. Then, send a thank you email to everyone. Make sure your personal email and phone is included.
There is an ideal way to disengage. Follow it. It’s really a small world and you never know what will happen in the future. Relationships are key to human survival. You can make friends for life in your place of work. As an immigrant, the journey ahead is long and for it not to be tortuous, it is best to take the path of honor.
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You can listen to Episode 87 for more insights on this topic.
Written by Yinka Bakare.