Wednesday, March 3, 2010


It doesn’t seem like most people are leaving jobs on their own volition these days but if you’re one of the two lucky people in today’s job market who actually found another job, careful how you leave.

No need to gloat, especially if you know that most of your soon to be former colleagues are miserable. Telling them that their turn is coming up may not be the best thing to say to them because you don’t know what that turn will be. Instead, thank them graciously for wishing you well and point out that they as well as you are fortunate to have steady work.

The temptation to start slacking off is tremendous – strolling in late morning, taking an extra two hours for lunch and leaving early – wait to do this in between the old and new job. While you didn’t need the present employer for a reference, you may be calling on him/her in the future. You wouldn’t want them to remember your lame ducking days or the shopping spree you went on in the supply closet.

Handwritten notes to people you like and including your boss (even if you didn’t like him/her) go a long way. It shows people that you cared enough to take the time to say something kind to them with a personal touch. Avoid those sappy mass emails that go on and on. They can seem self -serving especially if you think big brother is watching and you want him to know how gracious you can be even if you’re deliriously happy to be leaving.

To some, exit interviews are a waste of time. But you can turn yours around to be positive and a help to the co-workers you’re leaving behind. Don’t turn it into a bitterfest or a lecture on how the company could be better.

To those of you caught up in the sea of layoffs, a huge job awaits you. We suggest that you mind your manners like never before and introduce yourself to grace.


Anonymous said...

Excellent piece!


Anonymous said...

Ladies: I have rejoined a company that I left of my own volition in 2008, for what I thought would be a better job. It wasnt'--and then the Great Recession hit, and I was laid off. I called my old boss, sheepishly seeking freelance work. Now I'm back full-time, grateful that I didn't burn any bridges when I left two years ago.

Also wanted to say that I saw Yvonne, I believe it was, on TV earlier this week, and that's how I found your blog. Permit me to say thanks to another kind lady who helped me find my way in Penn Station recently, ensuring that I wouldn't walk my aged in-laws around in circles, trying to find the desired exit. I did not ask this lady for help, but she realized we were clueless and offered her assistance. Civility might be ailing, but it isn't dead.