Making a graceful exit
Being made redundant or handing in your notice are both difficult scenarios, but it’s vital to remain professional while going through the formalities
DESPITE the recent emotions stirred up by Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, one couldn’t help feel uncomfortable for George W Bush. As Obama talked about how the US had lost its way, you could almost feel poor Bush squirm in his seat.
The average worker, thankfully, doesn’t have to go through the humiliation of handing over the reins to their successor with the eyes of the world upon them, but leaving a job can be a stressful period all the same.
Paul Mullan, HR consultant and founder of Measurability, says no matter what the circumstances, when leaving a job you should try to maintain your professionalism at all times. Of course, if you have been made individually redundant, it can be extremely upsetting.
“Many emotions are attached to redundancy such as denial, anger and blame. People can do things they would probably regret at a later date. They often forget that redundancy is never personal. Normally, business factors bring it about.”
On the other hand, if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to resign in the current environment, then you should give your boss written confirmation of your resignation. People who decide to never darken their workplace’s door again without so much as a phone call are shooting themselves in the foot, says Mullan.
“No matter how bad things get, there’s a formal process to go through. There’s two things to consider: down the line, this organisation will be on your CV and if you leave them in the lurch, you could also be impacting on your fellow employees. Word can spread about your unreliability.”
Your boss must be the first to find out about your resignation, so hold off discussing your pending resignation with colleagues and friends. Resignations must be handed over in person, and then confirmed by an official letter.
Just because you’ve decided to leave the job, doesn’t mean you are absolved from all responsibility during your notice and handover period. In fact, you should continue doing your job correctly and being diligent at all times.
Likewise, if you’ve been let go, don’t seek revenge by deliberately doing a job incorrectly, by sabotaging the training of your incumbent or trying to cripple the company by stealing. There have been famous stories of Clinton administration staff leaving unpleasant surprises for the Bush Jr administration.
In addition, don’t spend your two weeks’ notice bitching and letting all and sundry know that you were way too good for the job. Remember you are leaving your co-workers behind. Make your exit as graceful as possible.
“People should also treat the employer with a bit of respect and honour in the notice period. It will serve you positively if you can leave the company in the best circumstances,” he explains.
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