As an Introvert Leader, you are probably keenly aware that the tide on employment has changed. If you aren’t already half way out the door to another opportunity, you probably have a new opportunity hovering over you as you read this.
The time has come. New jobs are popping up all over the place and exit strategies are being planned.
Are you ready to plan your exit?
In the past month, I’ve had countless clients and people asking me how to plan their exit without burning bridges. It’s a good problem to have.
Hopefully you aren’t contemplating posting your parting shot at management on your Facebook page. Here are some things to consider keeping that great personal brand in tact:
1- Give plenty of notice. Unless your company walks people out the door the minute you give notice, you want to give them as much notice as possible. A month is a great amount of time to cross train and close out on projects. If your job can tolerate 2 weeks, and that is considered the company standard, then use that as your guideline.
2- Develop an exit plan. Everyone and especially your boss will appreciate your efforts at co-developing a plan that details out your various projects and cross training. You should take the first pass at this and then finish it with your boss and key players.
3- Keep your exit plan updated. Communication is key during your exit to keep the level of ugly surprises to a minimum.
4- Have your “reason for leaving” ready. You can count on your boss and many others to ask you why you are leaving and what you will be doing. This is the critical spot and where bridges do get burned. You don’t want to use this opportunity to trash the boss, company or peers. Stay positive and keep the negative commentary for your BFF (who doesn’t work there).
5- Keep your story consistent. You may think you have people at work you can tell the whole story to that will keep that story confidential. (If there is more to the story that your public “party line”) At work, there is no such thing as a secret. If your story isn’t consistent, it will get around and start torching the bridge.
6- Don’t become a “short timer”. It is hard to stay emotionally invested and focused on your job when you know you will soon be going. Don’t let this be you. I know it’s hard but short-timers can really cause people to become disillusioned with you and simply just want you gone. That is not the lasting impression you want to make.
7- Don’t brag. Granted, you might be getting the best job at the hottest company on earth but literally, no one at work wants to hear it. I know you’re excited so share your excitement with someone outside of work.
8- Keep the other company outside of this company. Your new company may need for you to fill out forms and other various things. Don’t bring the new company paperwork and use work time to process their requests. You can count on someone seeing it and will share the fact that you really aren’t working.
9- Leave neat and tidy. No one wants to clean up your mess when you’re gone. Make an extra effort to toss unwanted items, box and take your personal things and clean your office. Organize what remains. Make your work area ready for the next person.
Burning bridges is really about remaining as professional during your final weeks as you were all during your time in your job. It’s about keeping your personal brand in tact and most of all; the best exit is one where they want you to stay.
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