Securing a new role is no mean feat; new research by Lever suggests an average of every 1 in 100 candidates is hired. Needless to say, if you’ve managed to bag the new role, you’ve fought the good fight and beaten the odds. This is cause for great celebration!
Once you’ve let the great news sink in, your attention will no doubt quickly turn to the resignation process, which can be a difficult, especially if you really respect your current company and don’t like letting people down (which you aren’t, but it can sometimes feel that way).
You know how important it is to end on a high; to work your notice well and finish like a winner, so you must tread carefully and make educated decisions. Your notice period will be your last chance to solidify a lasting legacy, and not the time to burn any bridges. After all, you never know who you’ll end up crossing paths with in future.
An enjoyable, successful notice period begins with you making sure you do the right thing by your boss and organisation, regardless of whether the role that’s won you over is the opportunity of a lifetime (but you still like your current position), or simply a ‘Get Out of Jail Free card’ (and you’re just hoping the grass is greener on the other side).
In short, always be professional, thankful and clear about your resignation. Prepare an official letter and speak to your boss in private (and make sure they’re the first person in your company you speak to about your plans to exit). If your new employer has asked you to start earlier than your contracted notice period, you can discuss with your current boss having some flexibility on this, but do know that it’s your current employer’s right to have you honour your contract, so don’t kick up a fuss if your attempt to negotiate gets knocked back. Always re-read your current employment contract before you resign, in case there are further clauses in there that govern how your departure has to be played out. Seek professional advice if you come up against bits you’re unsure of.
Be gracious & understanding
Everyone moves jobs from time to time – it’s a natural part of most peoples’ careers. That doesn’t mean everyone will be immediately happy for you, especially if you leaving will impact them in a big way and they currently rely heavily upon you. When the news is broken to various teams within the business, be sure to keep a smile on your face and don’t expect everyone to respond in the way you might. Respect your colleagues and their right to react how they feel fit, and respect yourself too, staying proud of your accomplishment and decision.
Don’t be alarmed when relationships with various individuals begin to change; it’s only natural to notice a shift in demeanour while they plan for your impending departure.
Start your handover early
Don’t leave your colleagues or your boss to clean up your unfinished business after you’ve left. Start getting your ducks in a row as early as possible, sort out your files, records and administration, and put together an easy-to-follow handover document that explains the status of your current affairs and what you expect might arise when you leave, together with ‘next steps’ advice.
Gradually let necessary stakeholders know you are leaving – don’t let them learn of your exit from an ‘undeliverable email’ message. Identify who their best point of contact will be when you leave, and facilitate that introduction. It will make everyone’s life a lot easier, and will show your current employer you genuinely care about the company and its future.
Once you’ve wrapped up your loose ends, try to find additional ways you can help. Write ‘how to’ lists if you want to, but just try to look for ways to share some of your skills with existing teams.
Be the change you want to see in the office
Positivity. Positivity. Positivity. Make this your mantra. Staying upbeat and positive is your best bet at making your notice period as smooth as possible. Avoid gossiping, slacking off and reducing the quality of your output at all costs… even if you’re absolutely itching to get out of your current role and into your new one! Lowering your standards before you leave will completely undo all of your hard work to date. Don’t do it to yourself. Stay strong!
Clean up for a clean conscience
You’d think this was fairly just common sense, but you’d be surprised…
Empty your drawers. Wipe your keyboard (then look at the cloth, gross). Clean your screen. Take your notepads home or get rid of them… don’t leave them for your replacement to find on their first day, it’s just sloppy. Leave the slate clean for the next person.
Do all these things and you’ll truly be able to enjoy your notice period, and reap the rewards of fond memories, great connections and a new sense of fulfilment and freedom!