How to Exit a Company with Class

Congratulations! You accepted a offer, but aren’t sure how to say goodbye. Well today we have a few easy tips for you to make sure you leave your colleagues and your company on a positive note.

Of course, you should let your direct manager that you are leaving before you let others in the company know. Make sure to write up a formal letter or email, but also let your boss know that you are leaving in person before you send it. If you work remotely, schedule a call with them. Make sure to thank the person that you are giving notice to for their support or the opportunity.

Give at least two weeks notice (or whatever is the expected minimum for your role), and those two weeks shouldn’t include vacation days. If you are a manager, have a very unique skill set or your company is in a crunch, give more than two weeks notice if at all possible. Some companies will try to extend your last day until they find a replacement, so figure out what is best for you before giving notice.

Put some notes together to help the person(s) taking over your responsibilities. Leave colleagues in a decent place, so they don’t have to spend a week figuring out something that would have taken you five minutes to write down. Even if you hated the company or your boss, don’t screw over your coworkers by doing a bad job your last few weeks. From a moral perspective, it’s the right thing to do. From a future-thinking perspective, these are the individuals who may connect you with opportunities in the future.

Do not trash the company, your coworkers or your colleagues on your way out the door. Nothing positive will come from it, and it will likely create resentment. If someone asks why you are leaving, and you don’t have anything nice to say, use bland statements, such as “an unexpected opportunity came up” or, “it was time to move on and gain new experiences.” Keep it simple, short and classy.

I am constantly surprised at how managers forget to mention that a colleague is leaving. Make a list of key people and give them a heads-up that you will be leaving the company so they aren’t blindsided after they have left. It’s also a good excuse to exchange emails and build contacts for the future.

Finally, take at least one day to yourself between your old job and new job to celebrate moving on. Do something that makes you happy with the people who make you happy. 

Wishing you the best in your new opportunity!

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