Whether you leave on your own accord or not, how you transition out of a job has a significant impact on your professional future.
Leaving an employer on a bad note causes irreparable damage that not only hurts your chances of future employment with that company but also adds a red flag to your employment history that has the potential to negatively influence decision makers down the road.
Undoubtedly, being terminated or laid off from a job that you have put a lot of time and energy into is extremely difficult. Emotions are high, and you are full of uncertainty about your future. You may feel rejected, unappreciated, and angry at your current employer.
However, leaving your job professionally–in spite of your personal feelings–is the best way to keep your reputation intact and ensure a positive impact on the future of your career.
How to Leave Your Job Professionally and Keep Your Reputation Intact:
- Complete All Your Responsibilities: Ensure that you’ve completed all active tasks and work hard until the last day of your employment.
Do not leave your boss drowning in unfinished work that will tarnish his/her perception of you. Be sure to communicate your progress on the completion of active tasks to avoid any confusion and to ensure the transition is seamless.
- Don’t Speak Negatively about Employers: Even though emotions are high, avoid talking negatively about your employers to anyone at the current company, on social media, or as you start looking for new employment.
What you say always has the potential to get back to your current employers and will negatively impact references. Additionally, future employers will view negative talk as a red flag to your professionalism, and it will likely have an impact on their hiring decision.
- Stay Humble: Even though this may be difficult, being gracious and swallowing your pride will serve you better in the long run. While it may be tempting to tell someone off or resign on the spot, it only hurts you.
Express your appreciation for all the opportunities you were given. By being gracious and humble throughout the process, your professionalism will speak for itself, and it will leave your employer with nothing but good things to say about you and a willingness to help you as you begin the next steps to find a new job. You might even find yourself returning to the organization at a later date and in a higher position.
Demonstrating professionalism at one of the most challenging moments in a career ensures your ability to negotiate a favourable outcome, ask for references and LinkedIn recommendations, and create a path that will have a positive impact on the rest of your career.