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In this weekly series, Todd Dewett, PhD, shares the tips respected and motivated managers use to improve rapport, navigate tricky situations, build better relationships, and drive the business forward. Each week, we'll release two tips ranging from avoiding the dreaded micromanagement to managing a multigenerational workforce, cultivating better listening skills, and developing an understanding of your organization's politics. Check back every Wednesday for more Management Tips.
- Here's a funny thing. There's a lot of good information out there about how to find a job and become successful in your first few months. In contrast, there isn't much addressing the opposite, how to successfully quit a job. For the upwardly mobile modern professional, this too is a very important skill. Now, the basis for each of the quick tips I'll offer you is all about valuing relationships. In the end, your career will rise or fall, not based simply on your ability and performance, but by how your performance is understood by people with whom you have professional relationships.
People with whom you've built connections, people with whom you've worked in the past, and the people you're working with right now. Remember, you never know when you'll encounter your connections again, or in what capacity. So quitting a job positively and professionally is not only the right thing to do, it's smart for your career. With that in mind, be sure to nail these tips. First, after you've made your decision to leave, but before you say anything to anyone, create the right message, and it needs to be positive.
Don't mention any facts about the company you can't stand, or any person who works for the company that you don't respect. You're leaving for positive new opportunities that are so appealing to you, in terms of job fit, location and or compensation, that you just can't say no. Next, schedule a meeting and speak to your boss. Don't just hand them a resignation letter, though you should have one. Instead, open by telling them you're resigning, and then dive into your short and positive explanation, and be sure to express your honest gratitude.
In terms of how much notice to give, abide by your contract if you have one. Otherwise, the standard minimum is two weeks. Though my advice, assuming you're leaving on good terms with your supervisor and team, is to offer a minimum of one to two months. Not only does this show respect, but it genuinely allows you to make good on the next promise you're going to make, which is to help your team as they see fit in recruiting and hiring your replacement. Now, once again, if you're leaving on good terms, don't forget to ask for a reference, or at least their willingness to serve as a positive reference and to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn.
Today, your digital professional footprint is of paramount importance. Last but not least, after you've begun the new job, make a note to reach out to a few former colleagues a few months later. Maybe you want to wish them well with a new product launch. Or maybe you saw them mentioned in the media, or for some other positive reason. Reach out, tell them you're well, and congratulate them on their continued good work. All of this together is a way of saying that leaving a job doesn't mean leaving all of the relationships you have established.
Remember the advice we just covered, and you just might be surprised how past relationships will help you in the future in ways you have yet to imagine.
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