What not to do when you leave a job

Something I have noticed a lot of on my travels are the bugs and the wildlife getting up close and personal. Obviously it’s not too much of a problem in the UK as it’s so cold most bugs are dead or hiding and we don’t really have too much wildlife that isn’t scared of humans. Here in Thailand though you spend most of your time fighting the things off!

Talking to some candidates recently I have heard some interesting stories about why people have left their last jobs and that got me thinking that there are probably some things that you want to steer away from when you do decide to move into a new role. This is meant to be for candidates at the beginning of their careers but these points should still be applied for people with more experience as well.

                                                       There’s the door. Now use it

Most of these are from my own experience. Some of these are from ex-colleagues that I have spoken too or things that I’ve heard of from other offices.

  1.  The disappearing act


Too many times in temporary/contract recruitment have I come across candidates that think its fine to go off the radar and be completely uncontactable by man nor beast. They seem to resurface again with a whole bus load of excuses that you’ve heard before regarding why they couldn’t tell you why they have jumped ship or walked out. It’s seems obvious that for whatever reason you want to leave a job at least let your immediate line manager know so that someone knows what’s going on.

  2.  Just plain rude


Fair enough, sometimes a candidate will know instantly that a job is just not for them once started or have given it a go for long enough to know how it works. Just let the right people know that things aren’t going well and that you’re starting a new job hunt or start a new job hunt discreetly. There is no need to be rude to everyone under the sun. Shout and scream like some sugar overdosed kid. It’s a waste of time for you and everyone else. 

  3.  I’m leaving so I don’t have to do any work anymore


A little further down the line when you have secured a new job and you are in the process of working your notice. You will be in that limbo like position of knowing that you are leaving and only having a short amount of time left in the current role. That doesn’t mean that the level of work or professionalism should drop in anyway until your heading out the door on your last day. In some roles you will have done a handover and the vast amount of responsibilities will now sit with other people. But just because you have less to do now doesn’t mean you can put your feet up and have a quick forty winks.

  4.  Why should I give them a handover?


In most positions I have been in for any length of time I have had to give some kind of handover of work to another member of the team or a manager. But just because no one approaches you to do a handover doesn’t mean you sit on your backside and don’t initiate it. As per point 3 above, it’s important to keep a good working attitude until you leave and you need to be professional and let people in the team know what you’ve been doing and pass on your knowledge if possible.

  5.  Oh and by the way I’m leaving


In some organisations and roles very little notice is required. I’ve always thought as a common courtesy to your employer as a human being if for nothing else let them know as soon as you know that you are leaving. I’ve heard of too many candidates telling the agency/company they are working for that they are leaving at the last minute. This creates more problems personally for the candidate, for the company and eventually for the recruiter.

  6.  What no “leaving do”…


A “leaving do” shouldn’t be expected. If you have a nice lunch and you get a card saying goodbye from you now ex colleagues, then fantastic. In this day and age people move around organisations much more frequently than they used too. Organisation culture differs and life had just moved on. Much better to buy some treats for the office to say goodbye and create your own leaving experience.

  7.  Exit interview nightmare


Again as per a handover, a lot of organisation will do an exit interview. However, this is not a chance to have a rant at the organisation and try and expose every flaw that you can think off. Some things are best kept to yourself. Be polite, complete the questions and answer honestly. Complete it in a timely manner.

  8.  Notice period, what notice period


This usually coincides with points 1 and 5 above where candidates are so eager to leave their job that all notion of working a notice period goes down the drain. It’s not funny that employers tend to remember this kind of thing and don’t like it very much. As would anyone if they were left without someone they thought was working for them and not told the reason why. Notice periods need to be worked unless already agreed with the employer that you can leave early.

  9.  Why can’t I tell them over Facebook


The whole point of all this is to make the transition from you the candidate leaving the organisation a smooth one for all concerned. So it’s important in the manner that you let the organisation know that you are planning to leave. I’m a traditionalist so a typed resignation letter and a quick chat in a private room with your manager is my preferred method for anyone. But depending on the circumstances it might need an email and a phone call. I think it’s important to have a written record as well as to have the conversation about why your leaving and where you’re going next. This can then work for you as you keep things positive. Keep everything as transparent as possible and ensure you discuss how you’re going to leave the company. Things like references, actual leaving date, annual leave, benefits and the return of company items can then be negotiated with the company in a much easier way.

I hope this has been informative, interesting and you liked reading it.

That’s all folks this week but I’ll be back again next week. Please subscribe to my Virtual Demon blog and I look forward to your comments and feedback.