With more job openings than people unemployed, there has never been a better time to be a passive job candidate. Hiring managers and recruiters are trying to fill roles and are reaching out to individuals who may already be employed. Congruently, companies have seen a rise in employee ghosting – where a person gives no notice and stops coming to work. People are searching for any alternative to having an actual conversation. (Some even resorting to paying a company to quit on their behalf!)
However, quitting is as much a part of your job as the process you went through to get hired. And it’s easier than you’d think. Exiting the correct way will make life easier for your (soon-to-be) former employer as well as yourself.
Don’t get ahead of yourself
Often, this process will begin with a recruiter reaching out via email, LinkedIn, or with a phone call. It’s tempting to share this information with your office buddy; however, it’s in your best interest to keep it to yourself. With these being the beginning stages with nothing written in stone, you could be setting yourself up for failure – especially if you’re just in the interviewing stage. This includes asking the recruiter or hiring manager to wait on contacting your current employer, giving you a chance to prepare for the upcoming conversations around a departure.
Putting in your notice
Once you receive a job offer and decide to accept it, the next step is having that tough conversation. It’s time to tell your boss or manager that you’re quitting your job. This conversation needs to take place in person, as it communicates respect. While this conversation may cause some anxiety, departing with an email or voicemail will likely have a longer-lasting, negative effect. Give them at least two weeks’ notice so they have time to begin finding a replacement. Moreover, if they promote from within, your boss may ask you to help train your replacement.
Whatever they ask of you in your remaining time during this transitional period, do it and do it well. Knowing you are moving on sometimes brings out the slacker in people. Typical consequences for falling behind or being under-motivated may hurt as well as your career in the future.
Whether you and your employer agree to two last weeks or two last months, document the agreement in writing following the conversation. Now is the time to send an email restating your agreement, just to ensure there is no miscommunication down the road. If you have a specific mentor or coworkers you appreciated working with, let them now! Expressing gratitude for the opportunity to work there and with whom you did is a great last step to a productive exit. Whether this is in person or with a thank you note, a formal goodbye is better for your career and peace-of-mind.