Many years ago, working at the same company for your entire life up until retirement was the norm. Now, times have changed. You might find yourself in a position where you must leave your job to move on to bigger and better things. We understand: putting in notice is tough, especially if you really like working there. However, there are ways to make it as painless as possible.
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Politeness while giving notice can mean the difference between having a positive reference in your back pocket for later, and having an unhappy former employer giving you a bad review. Even if you have tons of negative things you could say to them while walking out the door, don’t. You will only be hurting yourself.
Who knows? You might end up needing to come back at some point, and burning bridges by behaving poorly is never a good idea.
Give Advance Notice
Always be thinking about how your exit will impact the company you’re leaving, even if you hate it. Putting in notice at least two weeks in advance can give your employer the necessary time they need to either find a replacement or adjust in-house staff to absorb your workload. Sometimes advance notice of more than two weeks is appropriate. Whatever you decide to do, be gracious to them and give them enough time to prepare.
Don’t Get Lazy
Just because you’re putting in notice doesn’t mean that you should get lazy with your work. You might be thinking, “It doesn’t matter anymore, right?” Wrong! Never assume that you’re “out of the woods” just because you’re leaving soon. Becoming lazy during your notice period can leave a bad taste in your (previous) employer’s mouth and may end up burning bridges with them without you even knowing. This is actually one of the more crucial moments in the transition. You’ve already put in notice and are preparing to leave; don’t let that momentum go to waste.
Don’t Use This as an Opportunity to Bad-Mouth
Even if you’re ready to leave, don’t use your exit as an opportunity to complain or speak badly of others. Settle the differences you have with others in private. Like we mentioned before, be polite and smart about what you say. Trashing the company you’re about to leave will have unintended consequences later on down the road. It may even make your new employer second-guess their decision to hire you. This is especially important when thinking about social media activity. Bad-mouthing your ex-co workers or employer on social media is also equally bad. Having public profiles online means anyone can search your name and see what you’re saying.