For those of you who have been waiting for that recession to lift so that you can skip to another position, your ship is finally coming in. If you've been interviewing for another job, you might be wondering about the protocol for quitting.
The first rule, of course, is not to gloat that you're getting out of your hellhole. As Corporette puts it: "We’ve all had daydreams/fantasies of screaming “I QUIT!” and rushing out the door, cardboard box in your hands, wind in your hair, as inspiring music plays." (May I suggest blasting "Take This Job and Shove It" over the office PA?)
But for the sake of your career, take the long-term view. Here are some tips for making a good exit:
1. Quit with a smile. "Say how much you’ve enjoyed working there . . . that you’ve learned a lot," advises Corporette. "It doesn’t matter how much your current job drove you away, or how your new job will be so much more awesome--leave on as high a note as you can."
2. Give two to four weeks' notice. Though two weeks’ notice is required, Corporette says that in fields like law and banking, four weeks might be appreciated.
3. Don't forget the bonus. "If possible," writes Corporette, "wait to resign until the money has cleared your checking account. I’ve heard far too many stories of someone resigning after bonuses were announced but before they were actually paid out, and then not getting the bonus and kicking themselves." Moreover, if your new employer wants you to start immediately, and you're still waiting for your bonus from your current firm, Corporette suggests that you negotiate with your new firm to make up the difference.
4. Keep busy until you leave. Finish whatever major project you have, advises Corporette, and "don’t screw over your old employer when you leave. Leaving on good terms is the goal here: You still want recommendations and the ability to network with your former colleagues and bosses." Corporette readers suggest maintaining a respectable level of billings--say, five hours or so a day.
Finally--a point I'd like to address: How to handle that exit interview? Be truthful about that horrendous partner you've had to endure, or the document reviews that could have been done by a monkey? Or should you just gloss over the negative points and emphasize the positive? If I'm asked for my views, my instinct is to spill my guts about how ridiculous, inefficient, and demoralizing the firm/company has been. I could happily rant about everything from the nonsensical organizational structure to the lousy snack selections in the vending machine.
But please, don't do what I'd do. Smile--and just say it was a privilege to work there.