Sometimes, you’ve made that final decision and it is all over. The moment has arrived and you must say farewell at the workplace.
That has probably been the case in the current media industry carousel that has seen anchors move between stations, personnel being poached by fellow industry employers, or some quit to join top jobs at other sectors. Akin to Don Vito Corleone’s irresistible offer, if you may.
At times however, even in Kenya’s cauldron of unemployment where getting jobs sometimes seems a preserved privilege for the few, one can feel that enough is enough. The pressure too much, the stress levels high and the satisfaction not quenched. Simply not worth it.
So whether you’ve got a better job offer, or you feel where you are at is not satisfying you, it is imperative that a respectful demeanour that leaves no bridges burned and keeps relations intact is undertaken.
With thoughts from an employment lawyer who spoke to CNN, here are some of the things to consider while quitting your job.
Know your contractual status
Your contract agreement is fundamental to any change of jobs. You must know what it says and the potential consequences. Find out what you signed and what you did not.
Donna Ballman, an employee-side employment attorney told CNN, “Most people will sign anything put in front of them during those first few days of employment.”
If you’re not sure, the best practice would be to ask the human resource department for the contract you signed and any other accompanying agreements.
Have a one on one with your boss
It would be highly disrespectful to not tell your immediate boss that you plan to leave. If your boss hears it from elsewhere, you’re in a complex situation.
A scheduled time with your workplace superior should be arranged but if this is entirely not possible, a phone call may be the next best bet.
Telling your boss also allows for an easy management of the whole situation — such as how your colleagues will be told and how the workplace will start plans to recruit your replacement. An unnecessary stirring up of office politics and drama is not what your exit should elicit.
The position you are leaving will determine the amount of notice you need to give. At the very least however, two weeks to a month should be the bare minimum. Don’t just walk into your boss’ office and say.. “Tomorrow, I’m starting a new job at our competitor’s”
However, you may be requested to leave immediately so be prepared for that. Make sure your personal items are arranged together, or if they are on workplace devices that you can copy them quickly. “Be very transparent and very careful with what you copy, it’s better not to have personal stuff on a work device,” advised Ballman.
Resignation letter should be ready
Many companies may request a written resignation letter to accompany the move for formal procedures. Make sure yours is written and ready by the time you are informing your boss so that you may present it in person if need be.
Ballman advises that the resignation letter should be short and sweet. “It should be short and sweet, especially if you think you have any claims against the company.”
Keep your cool
Your emotions should be kept in check. The industry is small and you don’t know how, where or when you will be required to liase with your former employers again. Even if you hated the job, maintain your cool while quitting.
Remember, you are still an employee and there are certain obligations required of you even though you are halfway out the door. Don’t slack off. Keep attending meetings, arrive on time, don’t take extended lunch breaks and most importantly, get your work done.
Sue Fox, author of Business Etiquette For Dummies told CNN, “You don’t want to drop a workload on your co-workers after you leave. How do you want to be remembered? Try and wrap up any unfinished projects, keep working normal hours. This is going to be the last interaction with those people, so you want them to think positively of you and not tarnish your reputation.”