Go On Now, Go, Walk Out The Door: 5 Steps To Quitting Your Job In Style

Most of us have likely fantasized about what we would say to a manager, boss or supervisor when we announce we are leaving a job.Whether you are moving for a better opportunity, relocating or just fed up, you have to plan your exit strategy wisely so it doesn’t come back to haunt you.[bctt tweet=“When you #QuitYourJob, you have to plan your exit strategy wisely so it doesn’t come back to haunt you. What are your tips for leaving a position tactfully?” username=“takeleadwomen”]Even if the position has been a mostly positive experience, the possibility exists that your departure could end up like a scene reminiscent of “The Bachelor” when a contestant gets walked out without a rose and cries sloppily in the car on the way to the airport.The last thing you want to do is to be remembered as “getting something off your chest,” or giving your colleagues or manager “a piece of your mind.”So how can you leave gracefully? Even if you have some choice words and insights to share about what is wrong with the company and everyone who works there? The bottom line is you have to be careful, but you do not have to be honest and express your harshest critiques. Even if you feel it is your right to do so.A low unemployment rate is giving many people the confidence to quit their jobs to find a better one. Many younger workers are quitting without another one lined up in its place.“More people are quitting their jobs than ever before. People are confident in their skills and ability to find other jobs,” writes Debra Ann L’Ecuyer in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.She writes, “According to Harvard Business Review, the number one reason people leave their jobs is still bad bosses, followed by employees not seeing opportunities for growth/promotion and losses to a highly competitive job market.”The trends in the workplace are that there are more people changing jobs now than ever, so more people are quitting.“Though later-year boomers were estimated to hold down an average of 11-12 jobs in a lifetime, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, as many as 34 percent of millennials are expected to stay at their current jobs for only 1-2 years, according to Job Application Center. That’s a lot of quitting — and quitting can be super stressful,” Vivian Manning-Schaffel writes in NBC News.According to Robert Half Newsroom, an OfficeTeam survey of 600 human resources professionals “found that 86 percent said the way employees quit a job at least somewhat affects their future career opportunities.” More than half, or 53 percent, said how you quit somewhat affects your future, while 33 percent said it greatly affects your future how you walk out the door.Give enough notice. “If you’re in an entry-level gig, the minimum two-week notice is ‘still the standard as a professional courtesy,’ says Rebecca Barnes-Hogg, a small-business hiring expert and CEO of YOLO Insights. But if you’re in a management role, she adds, ‘you probably want to start looking at three, maybe four weeks.’ For executive-level or senior management roles, Barnes-Hogg recommends at least four weeks and perhaps more,” writes Meera Jagannathan in Moneyish.[bctt tweet=“When leaving your job, if you’re in a management role you may want to extend the ‘two-weeks notice’ rule to four or more weeks. #HowToQuit” username=“takeleadwomen”]Badmouth no one. Now is the time to take the high road. Perhaps the human resources department has an exit interview by a neutral third party. Here in the most unemotional terms, you can perhaps state processes or specific events that led to your departure. Do not call anyone names, do not be vindictive. Talk about a clash of personality styles if you must, but do not blame or diminish someone’s character. The personnel professional can read between the lines. Say “perhaps” often and do not assign anyone motivation or malice.Be vague and be gracious. “It’s good manners to leave gracefully,” Suzy Welch, co-founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute tells CNBC Make It. “It’s smart business to leave generously.” According to Welch, “Even if you’re excited about leaving a company you hate, tell your boss, ‘Thank you for the opportunity to work here. It’s been an incredible experience both personally and professionally.’” Whether or not your last day has a planned going away component such as a lunch or a casual meetup for drinks, bring something to share on your last day for your immediate co-workers. It can be donuts or a coffee cake, even cookies, but make the gesture that you are appreciative.Train or prepare your replacement or successor. Leave files in order, tell the next person what to expect in the coming weeks and perhaps months. Hopefully you will have had the time and opportunity to train someone, but if that is not the case, leave clear written instructions on how to do certain key tasks and responsibilities.Make sure you know what’s legal. Of course you are not going to walk out with the company laptop or any office supplies. But make sure you know what else is required of you in a non-diclosure agreement and non-compete clause. “If you’ve built a client base, or designed or developed technology pivotal to your company, make sure it’s legal to take copies of what you brought to the table. Otherwise, you risk having a lot more to worry about than what to wear on the first day of your new gig,” writes Manning-Schaffel in NBC News.[bctt tweet=“Leaving your job? Make this part of your story a good one, even if it is an ending of one chapter. What’s your #QuittingStory?” username=“takeleadwomen”]Make this part of your story a good one, even if it is an ending of one chapter. “Know your History,” is the first of 9 Leadership Power Tools created by Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take The Lead. You want to have this piece of your story a quality narrative. Do that, “and you can create the future of your choice,” Feldt says.Remember that even if you are asked to leave shortly after tendering your resignation, walk out with your head high, a class act. And no sobbing in the car.