I’ve worked for 5 or 6 firms, big and small, and countless employees and executives. All of my peers, co-workers, and bosses were driven by some intangible. Many of them were great people and were very valuable to the growth and advancement of the firm. Some were not, and they were fueled by greed and money. Inevitably, everyone leaves a job at one point in his/her career. Some leave their jobs more frequently, perhaps not by choice.
But quite honestly, I’ve never experienced an exit interview that went well. Sure I’ve been part of an exit interview here an employee ripped his peers and bosses. It certainly does not feel good to be on the receiving end. And I’ve been part of an exit interview where the employee had every right to rip his / her boss, but took the high road. Frustrating.
Here are a few tips to help you master the art of leaving a job:
Zip It. While tempting, and seemingly harmless, I can assure you will be better off keeping your job search confidential. As much as you may want to tell co-workers that you're looking for another job, don't be tempted. You betray your manager and peers, and you risk being viewed as a short-timer.
Do Your Research. Prep for your "departure speech." The internet has made the work place much smaller. Your new firm has no interest in hearing 3rd party info about you or your old company. Gossip is gossip...save it for Facebook.
Interview on Your Own Personal Time. If that's not possible, use your lunch break or take vacation time. Don’t be that person who lost interest in your role and coasted to the end. That looks bad on you, and you’ll gain respect if you finish strong.
In fact, the best way to leave a role is to rally at the end. Do more, work harder, and impress those around you. It will make for solid references for years to come. You want your old team to say, “We lost a good employee," not "Good riddance, he didn't do much here anyway!"
Never Ever Torch the Place on the Way Out. You will regret it if you burn a bridge or slander a boss. It’s tempting, but bite your tongue and move on with dignity. Be honest, but not brash and vindictive. Trust me these things have a way of coming full circle.
Zip it, don’t gossip, and keep all office war stories positive. You’ll thank yourself by rising above negativism.
Read these resources for your job search:
- 4 Ways to Create a Resume That Stands Out in a Crowd
- 5 Great Interview Questions and Why We Ask Them
- Inside the Mind of a Recruiter Reading Resumes
- Five Reasons Why Your Personal Network Is Your Best Job Search Tool
- How to Market Yourself When Looking for a Job
Need help finding better hires?