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Pachter's Pointers:
Business Etiquette Tips & Career Suggestions


5.05.2011

Moving on? The Etiquette for Leaving a Job

A woman was leaving her company and wanted some suggestions on how to exit graciously. Moving to a new position is not unusual in today’s workplace. A recent study by MetLife said that more than one-third of employees hope to change jobs in the next 12 months.

We discussed four key actions to take:

1. Let people know. Obviously your boss knows, but you need to tell or email your employees, colleagues and clients/customers. A woman I was coaching used the below email to tell a group of her clients at the same company. Feel free to adapt it to your situation.

Hello,
I wanted to reach out to everyone to share some news. This Friday will be my last day.

Over the past year, you have provided me with the opportunity to grow, have challenged and supported me and helped me to become a better account supervisor. I am grateful, and couldn't leave without expressing my appreciation for your many kindnesses.

I have enjoyed working with all of you. Although I am sad to leave, I will be moving on to a new opportunity to continue my growth and career development.

I hope to have a chance to see everyone to say goodbye in person.

All the best,


2. Thank people. Make a special effort to thank the people that have gone out of their way for you. One man took his office manager to lunch as a special thank you.

3. Don’t burn your bridges. No matter how long you have fantasized about telling your boss off—don’t do it. You may feel wonderful for ten seconds, but later you’ll probably feel bad about it. And the only thing you have accomplished is that you have lost a reference. This also means no posting of nasty comments on Facebook.

4. Make the transition easy for your replacement. Be as up-to-date as you can. Leave detailed notes. If possible, introduce the person to the key people that he or she will be working with.

These suggestions worked for her. The last thing her boss said to her was, “You are welcome to come back any time!”

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