Whatever your job is, there comes a time when you simply have to move on. It could be for better career opportunities, further studies, relocation, or retirement. It could also be due to an unpleasant situation like an abusive environment.
When it’s time to make that career move, you need to ask yourself some questions. Have you considered how to bow out? If you have, did you put your reputation into consideration as you drafted your resignation letter to your employer? What kind of relationship do you want with your soon-to-be former organization?
Here are 3 pointers for a professional exit;
1. Write it out, don’t just walk it out.
Just as you wrote to the organization informing them of your interest in the job, you need to keep them informed of your decision to leave. Some organizations have employee exit surveys which offer an opportunity to sometimes explain in detail, the employee’s reason for leaving.
Consider the exit interview as your chance to suggest things they can do to improve employee relations. For some top management roles, you can submit a report on suggestions to make the company better, in addition to your resignation letter.
2. Be professional, not emotional.
There is a reason your company has a human resource department. Grievances over work issues must always be channeled through your HR officer if you cannot speak to your immediate supervisor.
No matter the situation, keep things professional! Don’t get emotional over whatever situation may be forcing you to leave. Trust me; this is not the time to bash your mean boss or a colleague who gave you a hell of a time.
There are many advantages in being a professional employee. Keep in mind, that employees are valuable assets of every organization. Without them, the organization ceases to exist. Whether you run a one-man (woman) show, or work within a big institution, you are a great resource, and you should act professionally at all times.
3. Leave the job, keep the network.
Whether you will need a recommendation from your soon-to-be former work place or not, your actions before you leave speak a lot about you.
I once had to leave a good job because of a hostile environment and the fact that my manager strangely felt threatened by my qualification and work output. I didn’t go running to everyone who cared to listen within the organization about my reason for leaving. I kept it professional and once in a while, this former manager gets in touch and we talk like friends.
Later, I discovered that deep down, he is a nice person and he may just be acting insecure or immature. These days, he often reaches out to me for advice on various issues and I offer what I can. It doesn’t take anything away from me. He is now part of my professional network. Had I let my emotions rule my judgment, I doubt that we would still be in touch with each other.
By professionally handing your resignation, you will be doing yourself a great service. I have had my former colleagues and supervisors recommend me for certain jobs and projects because I have always maintained a professional attitude.
Guard your reputation jealously. When you bow out, do so with grace.
Rhoda Onyinah is a Public Relations professional with MA in International Public Relations & Global Communications Management from Cardiff University in the UK. She has special interest in Internal Communications and believes a good PR strategy starts from the ‘home’. Rhoda is also a proud TGSS scholar, Events Coordinator, TV producer, music connoisseur, a bookworm and a big football fan. For more career and PR tips from Rhoda, visit PRGirl233.
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