Career transitions are inevitable. Moving on from one job to another is a part of life and personal growth. Whether you just got offered your dream job, or your current job no longer provides the path you want, it’s important to leave as strong as you came in.

Trust me, I understand that finishing strong is easier said than done (especially when your sights are so excitedly set on that next opportunity) BUT you still have a job to do.

Your colleagues might not remember much about your first day, but they will remember how you leave. The world is smaller than you think my friends, and a messy departure can come back to bite you.

Below we share some insights and tips for preparing a strategy that will allow for a positive and graceful exit.

Don’t discuss your move prematurely

Just got word that an offer letter will be sent over end of day?! You’re a superstar.

However, until you’ve read the fine print, accepted the new position and really thought through the logistics of moving on, limit sharing your news to a select few. The last thing you want is the gossip getting back to management before you’ve even made an official decision.

Until you’re ready to formally resign, keep the excitement to your close friends, family and dog.

Promptly put in your two weeks

Giving your current company a two weeks notice is career etiquette 101.

Your new job might be urging you to start right away, but you should insist on a two week out start date. You made a commitment to your current employer to see things through to the end and loyalty goes a long way.

Prepare a resignation letter

Resignation letters are an important part of the process.

ALWAYS provide written documentation via email and bring a copy with you when you proceed to put in your two weeks. This helps cover all your bases and you have written proof that you resigned as opposed to being terminated.

Need to create a resignation letter but don’t know where to start? See below for an example of all the necessary ingredients:

Dear [supervisor’s name],

Please accept this letter as my formal resignation as [job title] at [company] to become effective as of Thursday, February xx, 2018.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at [company] for all the time and effort placed in my training and career development during the past [xx years or months]. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities and support shown by you and the rest the management team.

During my last two weeks, I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transition. I wish the company and team nothing but continued success. 

Sincerely, xx

Set up transitional meetings

To ensure a smooth transition, create meetings with those you work closely with and do your best to provide a knowledge transfer.

Make sure to help tie up all loose ends.For example; Are there any outstanding projects that you hold the keys to? Is there anything important about a client’s preferences that the new team member should know?

The goal of these meetings is to set your coworkers up for success, and also to help preserve all the hard work you’ve put into your company.

Master the exit interview  

Your HR manager will usually set this up and it’s your opportunity to provide feedback, as well as ask any questions before your departure.

When providing feedback it’s important to be honest, but not cruel. Make sure the feedback you present is constructive and give action items for the company to act upon to make it better able to retain talent like yourself.

The exit interview is also your chance to ask when your health insurance coverage will end, details about COBRA options, and how your 401K will be transferred. Ya know, all the adulty things.

Don’t burn your bridges

My best advice for anyone starting out their career is to never leave a bridge burned.

Like I said before, the world is smaller than you think and you never know where life might lead you back to. Always be kind and humble when leaving a company, they will be your best advocates in the future.

Before you exit, make sure to exchange numbers and emails with your coworkers. And don’t just say you’re going to stay in touch, actually act upon it.

What are some of your job transition experiences? Any advice or tips you learned along the way? We would love to hear!

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Emily G

Emily G

I'm Emily G$ - the dollar sign is silent. I'm a public relations specialist at a global firm by day and by night you can find me on a Dallas rooftop patio sipping Sauvignon Blanc. Writing, reading, home decor and Game of Thrones are a few things I'm particularly passionate about. I've caught the travel bug and I'm a big fan of the in-betweens, the time it takes to get somewhere. I also believe that Sundays, old bookstores, iced lattes and bad jokes can cure just about anything!