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So You Are Changing Jobs ... Do It Right!

Man pulling tongue at his past employer

Most of us move from one employer to another at some time or other and some do it more often than others!

Whether it is a regular “thing” or a very rare occurrence it is always a good idea to leave on a positive note, for many reasons but keep in mind itisa small world.

Here are a few pointers about doing things the right way …

1. Think about your situation from your employer’s perspective.  What could you, as the employer, reasonably expect in terms of notice, transition, behavior etc.?

2. If your contract of employment calls for two weeks notice … give two weeks notice, at least.

3. Be up front and honest about where you are going unless there is some very special reason not to be.  If you are going to a competitor then everyone will know shortly anyway.

4. Be as truthful as possible about why you are leaving, but do it in a positive way. NEVER burn people on your way out!  If there were things you hated then suggest alternatives, don’t just complain about the things you didn’t like.  It would also be fair to talk about what attracted you to the new role rather than focus on what was not good in your old role.

5. Don’t knock your old employer on the way out or even after you have gone.  It is just not classy, and reflects badly on you.

6. Don’t play up your new job to those left behind. Your decision to leave is yours and creating a “buzz” about why you are leaving or the virtues of your new company can cause unnecessary problems for your boss.

7. If you work your notice period then be very diligent about the effort you make.  If possible then work even a little harder than your normal operating mode. Despite what you think, it will be noticed and appreciated.

8. Be grateful for the positive aspects of your old job, at the very least it helped pay the bills, you probably you learned some “stuff” and added to your life experience.

9. When you are gone only have good things to say about the old company.

10. If they call looking for help after you have left. be professional and as helpful as you can.

11. If you have contractual obligations to your old employer … honor them!

There is often a temptation to “tell it like it is” or to “set the record straight” when leaving a job.  If you take that approach it is most likely you that will look bad, and leaving on a sour note will “bite you” at some point!

On the other hand, being courteous and professional costs you little, will cement a positive reputation and more importantly, it is the right thing to do!