Employees are quitting their jobs—often.
In a survey of HR managers, 83% said the way someone quits affects their future career opportunities.
In today's connected world, the way you quit your job could follow you for years to come. So, if you're getting ready to leave, take these steps to part ways in the best possible way.
First: Follow Protocol
The first step is to get the housekeeping details right.
Schedule time with your supervisor to break the news.
And be careful of the office grapevine—you never know who will inadvertently or otherwise share your news if you disclose it to them before you formally give notice.
It's best to have key conversations face-to-face, but the company culture as well as the location of your supervisor and coworkers will also be determining factors in how you relay the news.
As you plan your exit, make sure you meet all exit notice, confidentiality, non-compete and other guidelines that are required.
Plan to give proper notice, which may be more than two weeks, depending on the seniority of your position.
Second: Make Your “Why” Future-Focused
Your supervisor is likely going to ask why you're leaving.
Make sure you have a clear, compelling, and comprehensive response, and that it is focused on the growth and potential in the new opportunity–that it is about moving toward something new and not running away from something here.
Those reasons may include taking on a bigger role, learning new skills, getting to work in a new industry or discipline, relocation, or others.
Whatever the reason, list your reasons for leaving as opportunity-focused and aspirational.
After all, it's easy to accept and support the fact that someone wants to leave for a new opportunity.
Third: Think Twice About Counteroffers
If that counteroffer materializes, consider carefully before accepting it.
58% of employers extend counteroffers, the average employee who accepts them stays less than two years.
So it's not a great long-term retention strategy.
But the offer may give you the opportunity to depart with the possibility of returning to the company at some point, if you wish to do so.
Four: Be Thorough And Thoughtful During The Transition
Your departure is likely going to affect more people than you realize, including your coworkers, management team, and others.
Try to make the move as easy on them as possible to maintain good relationships.
Go above and beyond in your transition process—make sure all outstanding deliverables and responsibilities are effectively transitioned, and ensure all important documents are available to those who need them most.
Also, consider giving key people the license to call you even after you have left the company for any important follow-up questions.
Fifth: Be Measured In Your Feedback
Now isn't the time to deliver a detailed critique of all the things the company does wrong in your opinion, especially if you haven't done that in previous conversations, one-on-one.
If you have constructive criticism or suggestions that could help the company, share them in a positive, helpful way.
But saving up your negative criticism or complaints for when you're giving notice or having your exit interview usually isn't helpful, especially if the information is new to the employer.
Sixth: Maintain Your Network
Connect on LinkedIn or trade contact information with coworkers and supervisors to have a method to stay in touch.
That way, you'll be able to keep in touch and stay abreast of their career changes.
You never know when you're going to cross paths with someone again.
Building and maintaining your network can be an exercise that pays off down the road.