There are many reasons for leaving a job, perhaps it is a break for freedom or you have a fabulous new role, but in the small world of work it is unlikely to be a final goodbye and more a case of see you guys later. I am constantly surprised by how we are all connected and the hidden ties we have. Many times I am asked for feedback on people I have worked with in the past from friends, peers and ex colleagues. Inevitably it’s the last impression that sticks in my mind of that person. To leave well a little planning, commitment and follow up is needed to reap future rewards.
1. Doing the Deed
Fight the urge to bolt and give as much notice as possible. If you can tell them you are planning to resign before you actually do, then do it. The more time a business has the better.
Craft your resignation letter. One of the best resignation letters I have seen was an open, honest inspiring letter about why it was time to move on; naming and thanking each of the people who she had learnt from. She left with so much goodwill, that the door is always open there and with each of the individuals as they move onto other businesses.
We all work so hard the temptation is to ease off as we work through our notice period, but it is critical to understand what the expectations are for you in this period. Align and manage these expectations by agreeing what you need to deliver before you go. Keeping it realistic. If in doubt ask, what is the right thing to do here? A clear transition plan should be one of the deliverables.
Identify where you are the knowledge bank and find ways to communicate your expertise. Creating a plan to download and if appropriate document and train what is in your head.
3. Positive Impact
Identify what the impact is that you want to have on key stakeholders in the organization and what you need to do, be and say to enable you to leave having had that impact on them. Who do you need to thank for their help whilst you have been there? Write it as an impact plan. Be systematic and intentional in your approach. Ditto with third parties. Also, with these third parties resist the urge to tell them any “truths” you may feel like sharing about your organisation.
4. Get Your Future House In order
Plan for the future and make any requests you need now. For example, references are much easier to write now then in three years time when you contact your old boss for one. On linked in connect with everyone you have been in contact with, and again ask for references. It is easier to do it now then when you leave and the connections have weakened.
Leaving well ensures that all is left for you to do is to go onwards and upwards.