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How to leave your job on good terms

You’ve made the decision to leave your current organisation; you’ve been offered a new job in a position that you’ll be much happier in. All you have to do now is leave on good terms…
 
But for some people, it’s not that simple. If you don’t know how to leave a job on good terms it’s worth investigating the best approach to the situation, because leaving on a bad note may have serious repercussions for your career and professional reputation.
 
When thinking about how to leave your job on good terms, consider the following:
 
  • If your reasons for leaving your organisations are negative, don’t elaborate when asked. Concentrate instead on the positives you’ve experienced and what attracted you to the new organisation. That way your colleagues will understand why you want to leave, without there being any awkwardness.
     
  • Wait until you’ve told your manager you’re leaving before telling the rest of your colleagues. If your boss hears about it from someone before you’ve formally met with them, it will reflect very poorly on you.
     
  • Your current employer might counter-offer your new position, so it’s best practice to have thought about your answer before you hand in your notice. Again, you can simply discuss the attractions of your new organisation, there’s no need to say why you don’t like your current one.
     
  • Don’t slack off during your notice period, if anything you should be working extra hard – leave a good last impression and tie up loose ends to make life easier on the team/replacement you’re leaving behind. Always offer to train your replacement too, if they are starting before you leave.
     
  • For many professionals, networking is the key to their success. Therefore leaving on good terms is essential if you’re going to be looking for referrals and recommendations in the future.
 
During your last weeks at the organisation, all your communications should be positive; don’t let anyone think your reason for leaving is personal to the company. On your last day, take the time to clean out your emails, forwarding any necessary correspondence onto the right people and leaving nothing unfinished. Clear your desk or workspace and ensure you take any personal items home with you. If your replacement is going to be taking over the same space, you can always leave a welcome note with any instructions or documents they might need.
 
For more advice on growing your career take a look at our articles on how to get a promotion and how to change your career path.