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How to leave your job the right way

How to leave your job the right way

A common feature of the new way of working is the number of times people change job roles in contrast to previous generations, when it was not uncommon for employees to stay in their role or company for a large number of years. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics published a 2019 report which concluded that the average number of jobs in a lifetime is now 12, highlighting how fast-paced the current landscape of recruiting is.

Before accepting a new job, the employee has to of course leave their current role. Whether the work environment has become toxic, the responsibilities have become tedious or simply that the new job offers better opportunities, the resignation protocols remain the same. For those who are unfamiliar with the standard practice of quitting a job, here are our top tips to do so correctly.

Consider reasons for leaving

Have you made the decision to accept a new job for the right reasons? Be sure to weigh the pros and cons of changing roles, such as work-life balance, salary and opportunities to advance. Reflect as much as possible before making the change to avoid finding yourself in a role you will want to leave after a few months - the work experience section on your CV will not benefit from this.

Writing your letter of resignation and giving appropriate notice

Many companies still require a letter of resignation and an average of 4 weeks’ notice for the entry to mid-level employee. Even if the workplace has become less than tolerable, it is polite to adhere to this notice period in order to give hiring managers enough time to find a replacement and for you to finish outstanding projects.

Respect confidentiality agreements

Subject to where you’re moving to, it may be tempting to email yourself documents that will prove useful in the new role. Many contracts will forbid this in order to maintain confidentiality away from competition. Avoid problems by respecting this; getting into trouble for stealing trade secrets will not reflect well on you for your new employers either.

Offer reasonable feedback to your boss

Take advantage of your exit interview to highlight areas of concern but do not use the opportunity to slander without constructive feedback. Remain polite and professional by thanking them for the things you have learnt and the opportunities provided, explaining as tactful as possible reasons for leaving.

Get your manager’s consent to become a professional reference

Depending on the circumstances of you leaving, it is better that you begin your new role with another reference under your belt. If the relationship remains warm, don’t hesitate to ask for LinkedIn endorsements and a recommendation, making yourself more attractive to future employers.

Most of these steps will prevent the burning of bridges. In the dynamic world of working where a nurtured professional network is crucial, it is always best to keep things professional, smooth and amicable.

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