How to Quit Your Job — 6 Ways to Protect Your Personal Brand
Deciding to quit your job and move on can be one of the hardest decisions you make. This is especially true if you love your job, boss and co-workers. If those things are present, quitting can hurt like ending a personal relationship.
In contrast, if you hate your job, boss or co-workers, deciding to quit can be an easy decision. Regardless of why you are quitting your job when you decide to leave you should do so in a way that protects your personal brand and maintains your professionalism.
If your mind is made up and you are ready to quit your job, use these 6 ways to make a graceful exit. Doing so helps you avoid damages to your personal brand, professional reputation, and career in years to come.
Don’t Use a Resignation as a Negotiation
It may be tempting to accept a counteroffer from your employer when you quit your job but don’t do it. Yes, it is flattering and will make you feel valued. Any attempt at leaving is an indication of lower engagement. For that reason, your relationship with your employer will never be the same.
If your current employer counters, express your gratitude. Summarize how you’ve grown professionally at the company. Also, let them know how much you value the time you’ve spent working together. Doing these things will protect your personal brand while maintaining professional relationships.
Give a Proper Notice Based on Your Role
Giving a two-week notice is a standard expectation. For that reason, it is considered the ‘right way’ to quit your job. However, a two-week notice isn’t always the ‘right way’. The amount of notice needs to match the level and complexity of your role.
When you are ready to quit your job, giving the right amount of notice gives your employer time to decide who will take over while they look for a replacement. Doing so shows respect to your current employer. Likewise, it demonstrates professionalism to your new employer. As a result, when you accept your new position, keep your notice period in mind. Do this and you will strengthen your personal brand and professional image.
Develop a Solid Transition Plan When You Quit Your Job
When you decide to quit your job, one of the best ways to maintain a positive relationship is to assure your employer and co-workers that you will tie up as many loose ends as you can. During your remaining time, don’t accept any new projects so they can continue seamlessly in your absence.
Make it easier on your boss and team by providing a detailed transition plan. Elements of a great transition plan include pending projects, recommendations to complete them and who can take over when you leave. Bringing your plan with you when you announce your intent to quit your job helps your personal brand and strengthens your professional network.
Stay Positive and Grateful — Especially If You Aren’t Feeling That Way
Regardless of what prompted the decision to quit your job, it is critical to stay positive and grateful for the time you’ve spent together. Every employer invests faith, time and resources in you. As a result, you should appear grateful and positive until your last day. These are great attributes to demonstrate for your personal brand.
Tell Your Boss Before Anyone Else
When you’re ready to quit your job tell your boss before anyone else. And more so, do it face to face. While it may be tempting to share the good news with your co-workers, it doesn’t demonstrate professionalism or respect. Furthermore, it is a workplace setting and once you share information, you no longer control the story behind it.
Telling your boss first and in person, when you are ready to quit your job, maintains your relationship. Keep the conversation focused on the opportunity you are moving to rather than why you are leaving. Doing so keeps you positive, concise and fact-based which is what great personal brands are known for.
Don’t Brag About Your New Job
When you quit your job it is natural for your co-workers to want to know where you are going and what you will be doing. While it is fine to answer those questions, stay away from boasting. Maybe the perks and benefits are better. Perhaps the pay increase was substantial or your new role is an advancement. Demonstrate humility and tact when talking about it because this helps establish the right personal brand image.
When it is time to quit your job, be smart and strategic about it. People know people and some industries are smaller than others. You never know when you will need the reference of a former employer or co-worker. Avoid potential damage to your reputation and personal brand by quitting your job in a positive way. With the rise of boomerang employees, you want to maintain bridges and not burn them.