Leaving your job | The dos and don'ts of changing job, by Hannah Barkham

You’ve filled out a dozen applications forms, you’ve had a couple of interviews and you’ve finally landed your dream job. But you’ve still got to hand it your notice; work out a least one month’s notice, while you’re looking forward to the next step in your career. So what are the do’s and don’t for this transitional time?

Dos of changing jobs

DO inform your manager that you'll be leaving before depositing a letter on their desk. It will ease the blow if they’re not expecting it, and leaves room for potential negotiations – remember, if they know you’ve got another offer, they might think again about that pay rise you’ve been trying to get out of them.

On the matter of other offers, DO make sure yours is a concrete one before handing in your notice. If you’re offered a job over the phone, ask them to put it in writing, or at least in an email.

Do try and secure a start date of a few days after your last day at your current job. If you finish on a Friday, see if you can start the following Wednesday, or even the Monday after that. It’s amazing the difference a few days rest can make, and you want to be bright eyed and busy tailed for your first day.

DO ask an exit interview. Many employers are happy to oblige. This will give you the chance to talk freely about your time at the organisation, what could be improved etc. You can use this opportunity to benefit colleagues by making suggestions that would make their working life better, but they might be hesitant to bring up with their manager.

Don'ts of changing jobs

DON’T let your frustration or anger get the better of you. There may well be someone in the office that you’ve always wanted to tell where to go, but it’s best to keep tight lipped. Remember, your new employee will be seeing references around this time!  Even if you’re not happy at your job and can’t wait to leave, you will achieve little by creating a bad atmosphere for everyone else to work in.  Just take a deep break and count down the days.

DON’T forget to check out any remaining holiday entitlement you are owed. This might mean a few extra days off or a bit extra in your final pay packet.

DON’T slack off completely! Tempting as it might be, it doesn't leave a great impression if you stop working when you’ve got two weeks to go and spend all your time on the internet.  But at the same time…

DON’T break your back over any unfinished work. Just be sure to brief your colleagues or replacement as fully as possible and don’t be too precious about your work. It might feel like you’re only one who can do your job properly, but rest assured that that account will be looked after or that project dealt with just fine by someone else.


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