The Art of Keeping the Doors Open-Mastering your Exit.


There’s a trick to the Graceful Exit. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, a relationship is over – and to let go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its value. …..Ellen Goodman

When you Leave a job you end a contract – it need not be the end of relationships.

On average an employee stays 3-4 years in a job. This figure varies with industry and level. The inevitable fact remains that every professional has to leave a job at least once in his lifetime. Rushing out of your job in a disorganized manner effects your professional image. You end up letting go relationships with  coworkers and colleagues with whom you might have spent months if not years.

With a little foresight – you can ensure that no bridges are burnt.

Follow these Eight rules and you will exit happier and add to your relationships.

Keep the Key people informed

Resign in such a way that your Boss looks forward to your return. If you have decided to leave, inform your boss first hand and early. Let him/her not get the news from your co-worker or through the office grape wine. And the best way to inform him would be in a face to face meeting. This rule also applies to your mentor, your best friend at work and the person who hired you – these are relationships you want to cultivate. Inform them early about your exit in person and acknowledge their support.

Sufficient Notice

If you are in a large firm you will be required to give one months notice. But  smaller firms generally don’t enforce this rule. Nevertheless waking up one day and deciding to quit can be disconcerting to the team. Especially if you have been with the company for a sizable duration. Fulfill your obligations and ensure your handover is smooth.

Quitting by Mail/Phone

Quitting by these means is not advisable. Incase you have decided on such a course check out this link on how to go about it.

Ace the exit Interview

This is not the time to get even with colleagues and supervisors. Your exit interview will be typically conducted by junior HR folks.Avoid mentioning anything that might embarrass your boss. Contrary to claims of confidentially he is sure to know about the negative feedback you have given. And however insightful your feedback maybe – rest assured it is not going to be taken positively. So stay neutral. You could say that you appreciated the support of your colleagues and boss and be done with it.

Share Credit where due

All said and done there have been learning’s in your current job. Besides, your job has been a stepping stone to your offer. Hence it doesn’t hurt there to give credit where due. Infact if you are finding nothing to be grateful for atleast stay away from spewing negativity. Refer to the Rule  4.

Offer to find your replacement

Offering to find a replacement has multiple advantages. First – you smoothen your exit. You would not want your joining delayed by non availability of a suitable replacement.  Second, having a replacement from your existing network will ensure that you leave the door open for – comebacks.

Send a Thank you note

Send a thank you note to your superiors with whom you were in contact with specific mention of how they added value to your career. This note has to be separate from your resignation letter.

Stay in touch

Stay in touch with your ex colleagues though not too frequently.  Staying in contact through linkedin would be ideal. It is not invasive, at the same time you can be tuned in on the happenings at your Alumnus. You never know when a suitable position might come up  – and your ex – employers might decide on a known devil.

These simple rules work for both permanent and contractual positions. Key point to remember is that careers progression rests on good relationships.

Wish you a Happy Ending !!!



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