Don’t burn bridges when leaving your job

So you’ve decided it’s time to move on and have secured a great new offer. Here are a few handy tips to ensure you leave your job on good terms.

Stay engaged

Don’t check out too early. As long as you are drawing a salary you owe it to your firm and your clients to do your best until you walk out the door. Organise a plan to transfer your responsibilities so your partner and colleagues are not left with a mountain of unfinished work. Make sure there are no ‘time bombs’ sitting in your files that will adversely affect your colleagues down the track.

Write a resignation letter

Think of your resignation letter as a thank you note. It’s an opportunity to express your gratitude to your manager for working at the company and for the help they may have provided. It should also include your last day on the job. Where possible, resign in person to provide closure. Make sure you resign with adequate notice, particularly if your job is unusually complex. If you would like some guidance, here is a template for a resignation letter from Seek.

Get your story straight

Once you’ve met with your manager, ensure you’re both on the same page regarding the reasons for your departure. It’s vital to keep your approach positive – you want to leave the door open for future employment or at least a good job reference. Confirm with your manager how he or she would like your colleagues to be told. It may be worth suggesting that you tell colleagues individually and write a short email for your manager to distribute.

Return any property

Make sure you don’t leave with any keys, equipment or furniture (I know you loved that office chair). Leave with a good conscience and make sure to pass on your contact details to colleagues. If there is an alumni organisation make sure you sign up and if there is an exit interview- try and provide positive feedback and constructive criticisms. Try and refrain from ‘going postal’ irrespective of the reasons you are leaving.

Remember you are likely to bump into former colleagues at other firms, in court or they may even be your next client. It is a small industry and people have long memories. Try and move on without burning bridges.

Looking for your next move? Browse our current jobs via our website, or get in touch via [email protected] or (02) 9555 5711.

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