How to Say Goodbye to Your Office Family
We’ve all heard stories about leaving toxic work environments before. After suffering for eons in a place that doesn’t appreciate you, you finally head for greener pastures. The birds are all singing, the sun is shining, and small children seem to be celebrating on the street.
But what happens when you leave the workplace that you love? You don’t want to leave, but you have to. You’ve learnt all that you can and it’s time to continue on with your career.
Talk to Your Boss
Clear communication is key in any work place, but when you’re thinking about leaving the perfect job, make sure you put all your cards on the table. Sit down with your direct supervisor and ask if there’s any chance for you to progress further in the position that you’re in. Tell them the truth: that you love the company and that you want to stay there, but that you feel like you’re not growing in your career.
Leaving a workplace doesn’t have to be a sneaky, covert affair. If you love your workplace your boss will undoubtedly understand. They will either try to find a way for you to progress in your role, or they’ll be truthful, and tell you that there might not be a more advanced role coming up for a while.
Either way, you have a better chance of getting a good reference from them if you’re truthful about your intentions.
Don’t Burn Your Bridges
You’ve had the chat with your (amazing and supportive) boss and you’ve decided on an leave date. Now is not the time to slack off. Keep working to the best of your ability, and show your employer that you really meant what you said: that you loved working there, you just need room to grow.
Make sure to have some class as well. Applying for new positions on company time is a no-no and don’t brag about it all over the office either. You might be leaving, but you don’t need to take the whole team with you.
Make the Transition as Easy as Possible
This could mean a couple of things like giving your correct notice period. Before you sit down with your boss, double check your contract and make sure you know if you’re meant to give them a month, or two weeks’ notice. Where possible, try and give them an extra couple of weeks, and make sure you date your resignation letter so that you and your boss both have the same timeline in place.
Be flexible with your leave date. If you’ve already got another job lined up that’s great! But if you’ve talked to your boss about leaving, and you haven’t found a new position yet, be reasonable if they ask you stay a week or two later than you originally planned. Remember, you love this workplace and you don’t want to leave them high and dry.
Keep in Contact
Whether professionally or personally, make sure to keep in contact with the ties that you made at this job. One of the hardest things about leaving a job you love, is leaving the people that you work with. This could be your supervisor, who was the most inspiring leader you’d ever met, or it could be your desk buddy who routinely bought you a coffee on Wednesday mornings. Either way there’s no excuse for not staying in contact.
Arrange a monthly coffee catch up with the people you were really close with, or even send a LinkedIn message to your boss, updating them on your professional journey. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, but a good boss cares about where you end up.
Leaving a good job can be hard. You’ve got a stable, supportive environment, and the big world is scary. But knowing when to leave a great job, for the pursuit of a career, is just as important as leaving a toxic work environment.
Make sure you don’t become stagnant in a role, and that when you do decide to leave, make the transition as easy as possible on everyone, and keep the channels of communication wide open.
Feature Image Courtesy of Wallpaper Abyss
By Clare Aston
Copywriting and content intern at UTS Careers
Clare Aston is the current copywriting and content producing intern for UTS Careers. She is studying her Masters of Creative Writing at UTS, as well as juggling other interning and writing opportunities.
She thrives on literary discussions and is always on the hunt for new book recommendations. She has experience copywriting for both print and digital media and is interested in the way social media can be read as a narrative structure.
Clare is often to be found with her nose in a book and her head in the clouds.