Tips for Leaving an Organisation

By | July 29, 2013

This blog post blends a mixture of tech and common sense knowledge together, providing tips for leaving an organisation.

Note: You use these tips at your own risk! This blog post has been written based upon experience and observation of UK employment.


Tip 1 – Reconsider whether you should leave the job now.

Don’t allow a knee-jerk decision to impact your financial safety and career. Leaving a job isn’t about ‘getting one over’ a boss, but should because it is the right and logical progression of your career. If you are unhappy in a job, consider if there is a way forward to enable you to stay, be happy and achieve your objectives? Whilst you perhaps shouldn’t be shy of career progression, make sure you are leaving for the right reasons and are heading to a suitable replacement job.


Tip 2 – Already have your next job lined up.

Leaving one job before you have the next lined up is often an unwise decision. That moment of handing in your resignation can quickly turn to worry, when you realise you don’t know when the next pay check is arriving. So when possible, make sure you have the next job lined up.


Tip 3 – Don’t burn bridges.

It is all too easy to burn bridges when leaving a job. Sometimes people decide to verbally put the knife in the back of colleagues and bridges are burnt. Other times line managers can become upset and try and make your life difficult for leaving. You ideally don’t want to leave an organisation with bad feelings between employee and employer, including colleagues – though this isn’t always possible. Don’t encourage the situation to turn into the school playground (regardless of who started it!!).

Secondly those colleagues whom you might deem unimportant to your next job, shouldn’t be overlooked. How many people forget to tell freelancers and contacts at other organisations they are leaving their job? Essentially by not communicating to contacts, even if in error, you are snubbing people, some of which perhaps you have build a great relationship with. Good manners should prevail when possible, and perhaps also it will open up opportunities in the future for either party.


Tip 4 – Build connections before you leave.

People will be less willing to connect with you via Facebook, LinkedIn and other services weeks, months or even years after you leave a job. So if contracts allow, it is best to build digital connections sooner rather than later. However make sure are you are using a suitable method to connect with someone. You don’t want to work hard building a professional relationship, then for the same people to see photos of you being silly whilst drunk, with friends regularly leaving obscene messages on your wall! Some would say individual Facebook accounts should only be used for personal use, but I disagree.


Tip 5 – Obtain a written reference.

Many organisations official say they don’t provide personalised written references. Regardless always try and obtain a written reference from a line manager. This single piece of paper could help secure you a job one day! Also be mindful to scan the document in quickly, as you might wish to refer to a document many years later, and you want to secure against losing the original and a document that has faded. Also don’t be afraid to ask someone you deem trustworthy to be a reference in the future, and if possible  you are connected with them via LinkedIn to help maintain contact.


Tip 6 – If possible remove personal items before you resign!

Once you tell an organisation you are leaving, you might suddenly find your employers and colleagues become paranoid. Usually paranoia occurs when someone is fired, but it can happen when someone resigns as well. Make sure you have already quietly removed items you ‘own’ before you resign. Don’t be silly and steal an organisation’s property!

Admittedly if you have numerous family photos on your desk, it will look suspect if they suddenly disappear before resigning, so please use common sense. Yet that expensive calculator you brought yourself, the pen which was a Christmas gift from your partner and other similar items you own, shouldn’t be around at the time of resignation if possible. Why argue over an item you brought or was given as a gift?

Plus don’t forget that if you went on training courses, any certificates should be added to a personal career folder, and probably scanned to have a digital version available as well. Perhaps even add these details to a LinkedIn profile?


Tip 7 – Provide a good handover when possible.

Some people when leaving decide to back off their workload and try and make life tough for the next person in the role. Often this makes the final week or two painful both for a replacement and the person leaving! Consider the legacy, the colleagues and clients you are leaving and the connections you wish to maintain, not forgetting the reference! Plus for some, there will be a duty of care that shouldn’t be neglected.


Tip 8 – Remember why you are leaving!

To help you through the whole progress, remember why are leaving in the first place and try to maintain your dignity!