Business Musings

3 Steps to Exit a Company Gracefully

My last day at work in 2010; got flowers for my departure. :)
My last day at work in 2010; got flowers for my departure. 🙂

From my work history, I know the anxiety all too well of leaving one job for another one, or just to leave and start out on my own. Have you ever wondered how to exit gracefully? These are the steps I took when I was about to leave each of my previous jobs:

  1. Notify in-person and in writing when you will be leaving – Talk to your manager about your impending departure but also put it in writing. Best to let your manager know a month or two weeks in advance (I recommend one month). The written notice will be good for both your records and for the business’s records.
  2. Offer help in finding your replacement – Depending on the size of the company, you may be able to help out HR by offering to sift through incoming resumes for your position. I volunteered to do this at my last job in San Francisco, and it helped cut down on all the noise for the director. If your manager refuses help from you, then that’s fine–let it be.
  3. Stay polite & leave on the best terms possible – As your days wind down at the company, make sure to maintain good relations with your co-workers and supervisors. Contain your excitement for your next move if others do not inquire about your decision. Who knows–maybe on the last day you’re at the company, you’ll get a surprise from your co-workers and supervisors (like I did; see above).

Even if you had a less-than-stellar time at the job you’re leaving, it’s always best to keep things polite between you and the company. You never know; might need a favor from them later on.