A woman I mentored was leaving her company and wanted some suggestions on how to quit a job graciously.
Moving to a new position is not unusual in today’s workplace. A study by MetLife found that more than one-third of employees hoped to change jobs within 12 months.
My mentee and I discussed four key actions she needed to take, which also apply to anyone facing a similar situation:
1. Let people know
Obviously your boss knows, but you need to tell or email your employees, colleagues, clients, and customers. The woman I mentored used the email below to tell a group of her clients at the same company. It could be adapted to fit a variety of situations:
Over the past year, you have proviced me with the opportunity to grow, you have challenged and supported me, and you’ve helped me to become a better account supervisor. I am grateful, and I couldn’t leave without expressing my appreciation for your many kindnesses.
I have enjoyed working with all of you. Although I am sad to leave, I will be moving on to a new opportunity to continue my growth and career development.
I hope to have a chance to see everyone to say goodbye in person.
All the best,
2. Thank people
Make a special effort to thank the people who have gone out of their way for you. One departing employee took his office manager to lunch as a special thank you.
3. Don’t burn your bridges
No matter how long you have fantasized about telling your boss off – don’t do it. It might make you feel wonderful for 10 seconds, but later you probably would feel bad about it. And the only thing you would accomplish would be to lose a reference. Also, do not post any nasty or gloating comments on Facebook.
4. Make the transition easy for your replacement
Be as up-to-date as you can. Leave detailed notes. If possible, introduce the person replacing you to the key people with whom he or she will be working.
These suggestions worked for my mentee. The last thing her boss said to her was, “You are welcome to come back any time!”
Source: Barbara Pachter, The Essentials of Business Etiquette