Posted by Robert Half on 20 July 2015
The office just wouldn’t be same without you after you quit your job.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding your departure from your current job, it’s always good to leave on a positive note. Take the time to think about your serving notice period and you plan to approach it professionally.
You never know if you might meet your soon-to-be ex colleagues down the road, so we advise being on your best behaviour.
1. Pass the baton well
Don’t be tempted to drop everything, leaving your unfinished business in a mess. You may not be able to complete all your projects while serving your notice period, so work that out with your employer and leave your contact information just in case your assistance is needed. Why not take your replacement out to lunch? It’s a good chance to discuss the finer aspects of the job in a less formal setting, and will make the handover less of a chore for both of you.
2. Don’t sow discord
This goes without saying, but stay classy and resist the urge to slag off your boss and co-workers. Don’t infect your colleagues with negativity; you may be leaving, but they aren’t, and there’s no good reason to lower their morale during your service notice period. Try to think about all you’ve enjoyed about the job and the company. On top of sending an e-mail to thank everyone for the experience, perhaps you might want to give out some small gifts to your team members as a token of your appreciation.
3. Diplomacy is key
You may be asked to provide your feedback about the company in an exit interview or survey. And while honesty is the best policy, some opinions are best left unsaid. Try to strike a balance between being truthful and being tactful. Your employers will be more likely to take your criticism if it’s constructive and backed up with substantiated facts.
4. Don’t cut yourself too much slack
Your serving notice period is not an excuse to hit the brakes. So while you probably won’t be required to attend meetings or partake in the planning for new ventures, it doesn’t mean you should take extended lunch breaks or come in to work late. You can always use your newfound free time to help your colleagues out with completing their tasks.
5. Take the moral high ground
Sometimes holding your tongue for a little while is worth it, if it means receiving a glowing review to help you in your career. Even if you do feel that you have been wronged by the company or the office has turned into a toxic workplace culture, there is a time and place to set the record straight during your serving notice period. That time is not while you’re serving your notice period, especially if you’re planning to ask for a recommendation.Your actions will say more than your words.
6. Don’t take it personally
Don’t feel slighted if your colleagues aren’t inclined to chat or work together while you’re serving your notice period. People deal with the coming and going of co-workers differently, and some friends might want to maintain their distance, especially if you’re going off to work for a competitor. Positivity can help break down walls, so just keep that smile on your face as you go about the day to day.
7. Say your goodbyes
Don’t burn your bridges. In fact, this is a good opportunity to strengthen your connections without seeming like you’re brown-nosing. Take your boss and colleagues out for a meal or drinks before you go. It’s your chance to have a heart-to-heart chat with everyone, express your gratitude and put your differences aside.
A good serving notice period is a springboard for your career
Emotions may run high in the pressure of the workplace, but your most difficult colleagues might turn out to be really nice outside of the office. Even if they aren’t, that’s behind you now and you’ve got a new endeavour and career goals to look forward to!