Because reputation and referrals are the way that most employees are finding better opportunities to move ahead. Leaving a job is not as critical as how you leave the job. Social media and an increasingly competitive economy, more and more American workers are building their careers through networking rather than the want ads. Relationships with past employers, co-workers and even clients are important to build a referral network in your career.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 70 percent of all jobs are secured through networking.
No matter if you love or hate your current job, when you finally leave it, it's important to treat your coworkers and managers with respect so that they will be more likely to provide job leads and professional references. Therefore, knowing what to do and not to do upon your resignation can affect your career now and in the future.
- Don't become Johnny Paycheck! – At one time or another in your career, you've probably fantasized about telling a difficult manager to “take this job and shove it.” DON'T! That may have worked in Paycheck's world 35 years ago, but to remain successful today, it's critical to act professional when resigning and keep the revenge scenarios in your head.
- Don't trash talk your employer – As frustrated as you might be, keep the negativity to yourself for two major reasons. One, complaining about your employer when interviewing for a new job makes you look unprofessional and untrustworthy, and two, you never know when you may cross career paths again with your coworkers and managers.
- Don't slack off – Once you give your two weeks, you may see it as an excuse to come in late, ignore deadlines and take long lunches. While it's normal to push the limits in your final days, there's nothing that will antagonize your busy coworkers more than having them pick up your slack.
- Do prepare for your leave – Although more critical to your well-being than your coworkers', it's important to understand how you will roll over your 401k, to research what options are available if you have health insurance through your current job, and to secure copies of work for your portfolio if it is allowed by the company.
- Do follow proper protocol for resigning – The standard resignation notification time is two weeks, but if you can give notice even sooner, it will help your employer immensely in filling your role and allocating work. Out of respect for your manager, give your notice to him or her first before reaching out to human resources and present your resignation both in person and in writing.
- Do give your coworkers a helping hand – Between your resignation and your departure, do what you can to make your coworkers' jobs easier – finish up any outstanding projects (even if it means staying late), provide detailed notes about job duties, and even work ahead on some projects if applicable. Also, send handwritten notes to your coworkers thanking them for their support and to your managers for giving you the opportunity to grow your career.
- Do stay connected – Networking means everything in the professional world, and social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter make it easier than ever before. But don't forget face-to-face time – schedule a lunch or coffee with former coworkers when you can to keep your professional relationships going strong. You never know when you'll need one another for a reference or lead.
To ensure you land the jobs you want in the future, you need a strong support system at every step in your career. Therefore, how you quit can leave a long-lasting impression on your coworkers and managers. Just what that impression is depends on how professionally and respectively you resign.
In our field of work we hear about a lot of unjust situations in the workplace, wanting to get revenge is understandable. Taking the high road and not demonstrating your frustrations or anger at work is always the best action. In cases of a hostile work environment from discrimination or harassment, let the professionals take over. Employment lawyers are trained and experienced in handling these situations for the best possible outcome for the employee involved. Call an employment attorney, let them walk you through the steps to follow in order to prove your case. Call to speak to one of our attorneys about your situation, everyone deserves “justice at work”.