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Exit with Class
by Michael Mayher


When you resign from a job, sometimes long suppressed animosities may bubble to the surface because you’re about to leave your old job for a new one. As a result, some people like to get a little revenge, or at least want to thumb their noses on their way out the door. It may be tempting to tell the boss or a co-worker to drop dead, but think twice. Or, perhaps you are so happy that you don’t do much of the work necessary to properly hand over your responsibilities, because you are eagerly counting between now and the last day in your current job. Be careful, fate is a funny thing. Whether you are departing happy, angry or sad, until you leave the office at the end of your last day, perform your function as you would any other day and do the right thing. I don‘t suggest this because it is an integrity issue although, yes, it is. The primary reason is that you never know when the behavior of your past can affect you. More specifically, when might you see these people again, perhaps in a different environment and circumstance. Especially in today's business climate, when people change jobs on average every 3 to 6 years, combined with mergers and acquisitions of companies, you will very possibly end up crossing paths with former co-workers and managers.

It‘s also possible you will need job references from the company you are leaving. What are they likely to say about you? You were a good employee for years until that point. I recall years ago seeing a little cartoon with a caption that read, „When I do something right nobody remembers, but when I do something wrong no one forgets.“ Today you may not care much what they think of you, but don’t do anything impulsive that you might regret later.

I can list many examples of "what ifs", such as a day when a former manager from your previous company becomes part of your current management team. I can go on and on, but I think you get my point. So, what does this mean to you? Should you always be worried about what you say or do? Should you start to become paranoid and second guess your every move or future decision? Of course not, but it does make good sense to consider your exit strategy beforehand, so you’re not later confronted with, reminded of, or compelled to awkwardly explain something a little common sense could have prevented. If your exit is pleasant and you get a going-away party with some hugs, that’s nice. But if it is not such a happy departure, if there is mutual dissatisfaction, or perhaps, mutual dislike – make an effort to conduct yourself in a professional manner until you walk out the door on your last day, regardless of how you feel.


More articles by Michael Mayher:
After the Interview
Getting an Invitation
Reference Checked Before the Interview
Networking Effectively
A Failure to Communicate
Increasing Your Chances
Why You Should Heed My Advice

To Those Still Asleep
The Way It Was/The Way It Is
Demonstrating Interest is Not Begging
Confidence is a Key Ingredient
Stop Relying on the Internet
Career Survival Skills: The First Interview
The Interview
Resolve to Make This Year, Your Year
Periodic Update of Your Resume



About the Author: Michael Mayher has been an international direct search recruiter on two continents for over 22 years. A consultant, published author, lecturer and blogger, he re-introduces professionals to critical Soft Skills lost in our digital age and necessary to effectively navigate their careers. You can find more information by visiting his blog and website.

 
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