SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
So, you’re ready to part ways with your current employer. Maybe you found your dream job and this is just the next step in your career. Or maybe you’re realizing that you’ve just wasted the past few months of your life in a dead-end position and need a change. Either way, taking the proper steps to telling your boss and co-workers that you’re ready to move on is tough. And trust me, there’s no easy way to get around that. But relax. Lucky for you, here are five tips to make sure you leave your position without blacklisting yourself on anyone’s list.
1. Tell your manager first then your coworkers.
Depending on your situation, it may feel great for you to send notice to your whole office that you’re giving your two weeks’. But don’t give in! Show respect and meet with your boss or manager face-to-face. One of the worst things that can happen, is for your boss to find out from someone else that you’re packing your bags and leaving them. Two weeks’ notice is an unspoken rule in the workplace and it shows your manager that even though you’re ready to leave, you’re still responsible and, in a way, honorable.
After that, don’t just hand in your papers and say “deuces,” offer to help find your replacement and train them. Even though this might seem to go above and beyond what most employers expect of you, it’ll leave the lasting impression that you’re considerate and, yes, still a good employee.
Of course, every situation is different. If you’re really unable to tell them ahead of time, just make sure you’re letting them know sincerely.
2. Be honest, but don’t go overboard.
So, you’ve told them. PHEW. Hard part done, right? Not so much.
Quitting your job usually means you will have to complete an exit interview. I know what you’re picturing, yourself screaming and airing out all your grievances to the HR rep. But tread lightly. This isn’t a therapy session for you to go off on how much you’ve always hated your boss or the coworker who slacks off way too much.
Stick to constructive criticism and focus on the things that your company can actually focus on changing (and that will actually help). Just keep calm and be rational. Because even though you’re ready to leave, the words you use can haunt you down the road.
3. Have a transition plan.
Now you have two weeks left at work. Don’t slack off. Create a plan that tackles the two most important parts about leaving: tying up any loose ends you may have at your current job as well as prepping for things you may need to do for your new job.
For your current job: Map out your responsibilities, organize a list of your projects, list out your contacts (with potential next steps), and give tips and suggestions for the person that is going to take over once you’re gone. Document as much as you can. Not only will this relieve some stress from your boss, it’ll give yourself an easier time training and helping another person fulfill the duties of your job description. Your goal is to leave your current work at the stage where it’s simple for someone else to pick it right up (I mean, wouldn’t you want an easy transition into your new position as well?).
For your new job: Take a few minutes to research your colleagues and new company culture. Review their current roles and previous experience and give yourself a better picture of how you complement the team’s already existing talent. Plan your first day. Plan your outfit, come prepped with your best small talk, check on what your responsibilities are, and plan the route you’re going to take to work (public transportation schedules, traffic, etc…).
4. Remain positive.
Don’t burn any bridges. You’ve given notice and did your exit interview, don’t fill the next two weeks with bitter outbursts. Your colleague’s endorsements and recommendations may be critical in helping you with future opportunities. If you don’t have anything nice to say, stop yourself from saying anything at all!
Show some gratitude! Carve out a bit of time to personally thank individuals who may have helped you with your success. Remember, now that everyone knows you’re leaving, it’s all about making a lasting impression.
5. Stay connected post-departure.
Let your employers know that you’ve valued the experience and time you’ve spent learning from them. You’ve worked so hard in creating connections at work - so don’t lose them! These are the people you’ve spent almost every day with and who should be the most knowledgeable advocates about your work ethic. Stay updated with the company’s recent achievements, touch base with them every few months, continue to congratulate them and show your appreciation.
Not so bad, right? Just remember that quitting isn’t about going out with a bang - stay calm and leave with grace. So what about you? What are some tips you might have about putting in your two weeks’?