how to leave a job on good terms

So you’ve accepted an offer. Now what? How do you close the loop on one job before moving on to the next without burning a bridge with your old team? I’ve gathered 6 steps you can take to ensure your boss won’t hate you for leaving them “high and dry”.

March 5, 2022

How to Leave a Job on Good Terms

Career Development

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Prevent Burned Bridges in 6 Easy Steps

You’ve accepted another offer. Congrats! But now what? “Buyer’s Remorse” kicks in and has you thinking “But what if the grass isn’t greener on the other side?!” No worries! I can help you leave your job on good terms JUUUUUUST in case you need a safety net.

In HR, we usually put way more effort into ONBOARDING our talent than we do ensuring a successful OFFBOARDING process. We typically welcome you with open arms and highlight all the wonderful benefits you’ll receive working for the company.

But then when you leave your job (hopefully on good terms), it’s like crickets. The company gets wrapped up with planning for your replacement – Will it be the same job? Have the business needs changed? How is it different? How quickly can we get this filled so we don’t have a lull in productivity?

Even if you stay with your company, there may still be a lack of communication – how should you operate in the last few weeks of that role?

To minimize the amount of calls / emails / messages you’ll inevitably receive, like “how did you do this?” “what was the process for that?” you should create an offboarding plan. Then, you can rest easy knowing you’ll leave your job on good terms. Your offboarding plan will not only help the team, but you’ll find comfort in knowing you’ve been able to tie up loose ends and won’t burn any bridges in the process.

Take a look at my list of 6 things you can do right now, to leave your job or company on good terms:

  1. Draft a Resignation Notice (if applicable – DO NOT send one if you are staying with the company. That would be super awkward.) – Include the last day of work for your boss highlighting any important details they’ll need to know. Gain clarity with your HR Partner on leftover paid time off you may have and what you are and are not allowed to do with it. List those details in your notice. When it’s all drafted, give it one final review before sending on to your boss and HR Partner.
  2. Inform Necessary Parties – Now that your boss and HR Partner have officially heard you’re moving on to bigger and better things, it’s time to talk to your direct reports or your immediate peer team. Make sure those who you’ve worked closely with are aware too, so they’re able to ask any final questions prior to your departure.
  3. Save Important Email Addresses – If you intend on leaving your company, make note of contacts you’ll need for any questions after you’re no longer an employee – this could be your HR Partner, the Benefits team, your boss. Pro-Tip – you can save an email address in your phone’s contact list – it doesn’t have to only be a phone number.
  4. Open a Project List – What have you been working on and what is the current status? Take a peek at any goals or objectives you set at the beginning of the year and paste them into an excel file. Bonus Points for listing a new owner of each project. That will ensure ownership and accountability before turning the list over to your boss / team.
  5. Review Your Calendar – What placeholders or reminders did you bake into your calendar? Was there something added that should not fall off the radar? Make sure you evaluate whether or not those should be forwarded to another organizer or added to your project list.
  6. Offer Exit Feedback – If you’re leaving a company or a manager because of a specific incident (or a pattern of incidents), you may want to share that feedback with your HR Partner. This can help give additional clarity as to WHY you made the decision to leave. Pro-Tip – DO NOT use this time as a venting session, but as a constructive criticism opportunity. Outline any major concerns and share the feedback professionally. As HR, we can’t change what we don’t know.

So there you have it. As you begin to explore other positions within your company or interview for an external opportunity, you can plan your smooth transition by following these steps to leave your job on good terms.

Do you have a success story from offboarding? Did you plan on not burning a bridge in case the grass wasn’t greener on the other side? I wanna hear about it! Share any horror stories with me too…those are ALWAYS good 😉

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