Planning Your Job Exit – It is a Process

business woman with puzzle pieces

Congratulations! You have worked your job search, interviewed effectively and have gotten a job offer. But what about your current position? What should you do as part of your exit strategy to transition out of your current position?

  1. Do you have to give notice? Yes, usually 2 weeks is standard. In some situations, a longer transition time may be required. But before you give notice, consider making a call to your current HR department because you want to be strategic in determining when your last day is. Confirm with your HR what the timing is for medical benefits. For example, your medical coverage may paid be through the end of the month so long as you work at least one day in the month. So, the difference between ending on the 30th versus the 1st can be significant.
  2. When you speak with HR, you can also clarify what the standard process is for giving notice for your current company. What levels of management need to be notified and what format is acceptable? Written notice via email to your direct supervisor with cc’s to additional management and HR may be acceptable but confirm first to make sure you cover your bases.
  3. Practice how you will present your notice to your immediate supervisor. Frame your language in as positive a manner has possible. Keep it simple and speak professionally. This is not the time to vent. It is important to remember; your current supervisor may be the person speaking to future companies confirming your employment; better yet they could be a future reference. Know what you want to say in a clear and concise manner. Focus on the pros and not the cons. Keep it short. Practice!
  4. Plan how you will communicate your exit with clients, co-workers, vendors. You want to be in control of these communications. This is your opportunity to maintain those relationships as you transition into your new job. Company policy may limit communication to contacts due to conflict of interest or non-compete. Be aware of what your specific company policies require. Draft emails and determine the optimum timing of distribution. Make direct phone calls where you deem appropriate.
  5. Contact any associates that you would like to add to your future reference list and do the ask. Make sure you confirm what contact information your new reference would like used. This also is a good time to request written references to add to your job search arsenal.
  6. Now that you have given notice, it is not the time to slack off. Be nice. Coordinate with your supervisor how best to transition out of the position. Is your work load up to date? What activities are pending? Work with your team to make the process as smooth as possible. Yes, you have a new job and are excited about it but that is not an excuse to be unprofessional. Those around will notice for the bad or for the good. Do not develop a case of short timer disease.
  7. You may be asked to train your replacement. Once again, be professional, be nice. Keep as positive an attitude as possible interacting with those around you. You never know when you may run into the person you are training at networking events or at a new company. Lay the foundation for positive interactions in the future.

The theme of transition is to maintain your professionalism in all activities. It doesn’t matter if you loved the job or detested it. You are in control of how you manage your exit strategy and optimize the opportunity.

Copyright 2017 Teri Maher