Leaving a job is rarely a decision one makes abruptly, especially if they are planning to leave voluntarily or are working on a contract that will expire at one point.
However, many are caught in confusion when the time to leave has arrived and they are not prepared adequately for their exit and next destination.
What to avoid?
When planning to quit your job there are a number of pitfalls you should avoid. Key among these is mis-timing when to make it known that you plan to leave an organisation. “When you say it too early some of your bosses might start mistreating or sidelining you.
When you say it too late you might get people into panic mode,” James Opio, a human resource consultant, says. And when it comes to letting your soon-to-be former employers know about your planned exit do not exaggerate the offer from your next employers in a bid to squeeze the current employers to give you a better compensation package.
Opio says the reason for avoiding this is, they may just find out the truth and use it against you. In relation to that, Opio says it is wrong to tell your coworkers you are leaving before notifying your bosses as this easily comes off as some form of disrespect.
Trying to take your colleagues along with you is something that will surely rub your employer the wrong way and should be avoided, especially if you want to maintain a good relationship with your former boss. Breaking company rules because you are on your way out will get you into trouble as a firing can be engineered before you leave denting your CV.
It can also be complicated to a serious case that may warrant prosecution Opio adds. Other things to avoid include leaving without formally saying bye, deliberately refusing to help the person replacing you or filling in temporarily as you leave with key work information and bad mouthing your co-workers and superiors.
What you should do
Ensure that you have an updated resume as you will need this or the application and interview process at the new job. You also need to think through your decision seriously before you conclude on what action to take and how to proceed. “Otherwise you might just be angry about a temporary situation and chose to leave when the time is not right,” Joan Nakaye, a recruitment consultant, says.
When your mind is made up, have a conversation with your manager or supervisor on your intentions to leave so together you can work out a way and transition that does not hurt either party. If it is certain that you are leaving and your supervisors are in the know, Nakaye advises that you can then proceed and write your resignation letter.
When writing your resignation letter do not get tempted to become scornful towards your employer because that document will be kept for future references and just in case you want to return later it may turn out as the barrier or gate opener Nakaye notes. And before you sign on any documents the company gives you to confirm your exit, it is important to look out for any prohibitive clauses that may jeopardise your next employment or business ventures such as an anticompetition clause.
In case there is no ready job in sight, Isaac Lukwago a workplace coach advises that it is important also to plan your savings well so you have some money to keep you going, while you are out of job and trying to look for another job. Lukwago says, “You should also plan to stay a few weeks after your resignation so you do not rush through the process and miss out on crucial engagements such as the exit interview and may be picking up some personal belongings at the office.”
If you have any big projects going on, its better you leave them at a manageable level where someone replacing you can pick up easily. At this point Lukwago suggests you can start to move your personal things in time as soon as your exit is confirmed to avoid the last minute rush where you are likely to forget and lose some stuff.
“This includes ensuring you pick soft copies of your vital documents, information from your workstation and save them in private files you can access when you leave the job,” he says. While in the process of resigning ensure you do all your work and assignments as usual to avoid getting into any trouble with the company due to poorly done tasks or grave errors in your last bits of work as you start the journey out. Finally, Joan Nakaye advises against dodging the exit interview if the company offers one, just so you can leave on a good note because you never know you may need to return to your former employer at one point or another in your career.