When you want to quit your job there is more to consider than just giving in the two weeks notice. If you are in a leadership position there is more to take into consideration. Here are five things to consider before giving the notice to leave a job.
1. Are they going to let you stick around for two weeks?
There are companies that will help you out of the building the very day you give the two weeks notice. It may seem like a cold thing to do after years of service and building trust in a company, but in the world of business, it is best to take little chances with people who have control over valuable information. The last thing they want is a leader in the company to leave “with a big bang”. It is nothing personal.
2. Plan for your transition
Let’s say after giving the two weeks notice that they ask you to stay on longer to help transition out of the company. This is done to help the company have an easy transfer of leadership. If you have to give in the two weeks notice because an offer was accepted elsewhere, there is nothing you can do but leave the company in two weeks. However, if you can, try the classy approach of sticking around as long as they need you (but no longer than a month). All of these dates and information to be transferred should be considered, first, before giving the notice to leave a job.
3. Get your story down straight
When you want to quit, never ever ever ever (yes...never) plan to burn bridges by telling people the harsh reality behind why you are unhappy and want to leave. Give the company you are about to leave a nice, good story about how tough the decision was to leave, but you firmly believe it is in the best interests of the company that you take this new opportunity. You may resent your company or some of the people in it, and maybe you really have a valid reason for burning bridges. Still, please, do not do it. It is a decision that will tarnish all your years of hard work and dedication. You cannot see past choices you never made, so just trust the words of people who have made the mistake. When you want to quit...again...do not burn bridges.
4. Have something nice to say for everyone
The greatest sign of class and respect you can show the people you work with is to have plenty of nice things to say about each of them when you announce the two weeks notice. This is the time to talk about your successes together, how important everybody was to you, and why they will be missed. This is when you can show numbers of how well you all did together while at the same time showing some emotions of appreciation. Make it more about “them” than about “you”. This is a great way to cement your reputation as a “leader”. You will be their leader after you leave because you had such an impact on their careers.
5. Consider who should find out first
When you want to quit, and you know you are about to give the two weeks notice, take your close friends and mentors out to lunch. Talk to them and let them know what you will do after lunch. If these close co-workers happen to be your bosses and mentors, that is great. If they are your assistants, you had better be sure they will keep the news quiet until you announce it. You want your bosses to know, first. If the word gets out to the boss, first, it may taint your reputation with other leaders in the company. It makes you look like a gossip and leaves your other leaders feeling in the dark about important company decisions.
Giving notice to leave a job is both a business and emotional decision. You have to consider the feelings of the people you lead, the best decisions for your career and your company. You have a great responsibility to leave the company in a better place and an equal responsibility to leave yourself in a better place.