Expert Advice

When it’s time to leave, leave well

B2B Editor1 May 2015

When it’s time to leave, leave well

The day will inevitably come when it’s time to move on from your current organisation and take up a fresh challenge elsewhere. However, the way you leave your employer is important and you must ensure you leave on good terms, as how you leave is often how you are remembered. Leaving one organisation to start a new challenge elsewhere can be a daunting prospect, but it does not have to be.

So how can you ensure a smooth and successful departure? At Hays we advise you to consider the following:

1. Plan who to tell first and when: You don’t want members of your direct team finding out about your departure from anyone but yourself. You owe it to your colleagues to be honest and open with them about why you are leaving. Although the news may come as a shock, help them to understand that now is the right time for you to pursue your next challenge.

2. Cut the strings and start to let go: During your time at an organisation you will have no doubt become emotionally invested in your work and the strategies you created. This makes leaving the business behind all the more difficult. Once you have made that decision, you need to start thinking how you will let go. That means working with your colleagues to ensure they are empowered to continue with the vision.

3. Your departure is someone else’s opportunity: Leaving the business needn’t be seen as a negative by your colleagues; instead it is an opportunity for those that report into you to prove themselves. Your departure could be the catalyst to bigger and better things for your team. Your absence will undoubtedly be a big gap, but it’s their opportunity to show what they can do and further their own career by stepping into that gap.

4. Maintain your focus right up until the last day: When a new challenge is on the horizon it can be difficult to maintain your focus and drive for your current role, but you must continue to give it your full attention. Maintaining your focus up to the very last day will earn you considerable respect, and will be remembered for a long time by a lot of people.

5. Don’t lose touch and stay connected: Once you have begun your new role, it deserves your full attention, but at the same time you shouldn’t lose contact with your former colleagues. The world is a small place and you could always cross paths again in the future. It’s important to keep those relationships intact, especially if you have done a good job of leaving and your old colleagues have been promoted through your efforts and legacy.

Everyone leaves an organisation at some stage. It’s your job to make sure that the organisation doesn’t miss a beat when your own time comes. And if you do it well, not only will you leave the organisation with your reputation intact, you will actually leave with your reputation enhanced.