Congratulations! You secured your new position and you are moving on to greener pastures. But what about your current company? You are leaving associates and friends. Many of whom you may have worked with for a long time. Goodbyes are hard. How do you handle them?
First things, first. Write your resignation letter. It should be brief and to the point. Be sure to include the following:
- Last day (always give at least 2 weeks-notice as a professional courtesy)
- Gratitude: Thank your employer for the opportunity to work with them
Now, you need to schedule time to personally speak with your manager, boss, or the company owner. Although you may have played this out in your head time and time again, it’s never easy to say, “I quit.” They will want to know where you are going and why you are going. Those are appropriate questions for them to ask, but it’s up to you to decide what you want to share. Keep in mind that your old company will find a new you, so creating a little distance between you and your boss – no matter how close your relationship is with them – is totally okay.
Your new employer (and future employers) may want to talk to your current boss, so it’s also important to keep the conversation professional and respectful. You want to leave an impeccable legacy and a lasting, positive impression.
Be prepared for some emotion. Saying goodbye is never easy and although you are on to bright, new horizons, you are leaving others behind. You might even get a counteroffer or the hint of one. Acknowledge, appreciate and respectfully decline the offer, but stand firm and keep looking at the sunrise before you!
The last few days are the hardest. Your co-workers will express sadness over you leaving and you will probably feel nostalgic. Consider taking your personal belongings home over the course of a few days as opposed to boxing everything up at once in a dramatic exit. You may be given a “goodbye” party, lunch, cocktails, or a card expressing everyone’s well wishes. Regardless of how much this will tug at your heart strings, keep your bright future in mind. Always be mindful of your interactions with your co-workers and leave with grace and professionalism. It’s very important that you never burn a bridge or speak ill of anyone.
Finally, consider writing a short, sincere goodbye email to your co-workers. It will allow you to say your good-byes without having to entertain multiple emotional conversations that make it harder for you to leave.
Congratulations, you are on to a brighter future! Good luck!