Can I NOT burn bridges when leaving a great job? What about building new ones or maintaining the current ones?
June 3, 2012 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Tips for leaving a job on the best possible terms?

I am leaving a position that I love for another position that is also a great fit and is a little better in some ways. It will be hard to leave a team that I work well with. At the same time, given my stage in my career, I believe sure everyone will recognize this as a great next step.

The new job is in the same field as my old one and I anticipate continuing to see or hear about some of my current colleagues. I would like to maintain and (if possible) continue to build on the relationships I have at the current workplace--it would be great both personally and professionally. What are the best things I can do to leave on good terms, both with the company and with the individuals with whom I work? Is it possible and advisable to continue the relationships?

I would like to know things to do after I leave as well as during the period when I am still there. My current plans are to be sure to connect on LinkedIn where I haven't already, and to send a note with my personal email address.
posted by ramenopres to Work & Money (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you're on LinkedIn already, you might do some recommendations for your old peeps. And sure - stay connected. Why not? You've nothing to lose by remaining in touch.
posted by jquinby at 7:22 PM on June 3, 2012

Give as much notice as reasonably possible, and document the process of doing your job as best you can for the company and the next guy.

Don't try to take clients with you, if you're in that sort of field, but explain to people that after X date you'll be leaving, and they'll be in good hands with Y, and can contact you via Linkedin if they like.

Tell the people you currently work with, if you would, that you'd be willing to speak on their behalf.
posted by mhoye at 7:24 PM on June 3, 2012

  1. Make sure you finish and document all your tasks/processes; conscientous handover is about the best thing you can do for a company and your colleagues.
  2. Don't steal the company Rolodex (or whatever the kids today have)
  3. Don't contact your old workmates too often; if you're really moving in the same field, they're about to become your new competition.

posted by scruss at 7:25 PM on June 3, 2012

In addition to the above professional stuff--keep up relationships. Do lunch or happy hour every once in a while. People quit jobs and move jobs all the time, so people won't be heartbroken or anything, just use common sense and keep a friendly professionalism with them.
posted by manicure12 at 7:40 PM on June 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreeing with the folks above: leave documentation of what you do --- even better, if you can add some training of a replacement before you go. Make sure to leave written information on who to contact (and how: phone numbers, emails etc.) for various tasks.

It's probably too late to make a detailed manual of how to do the tasks involved at your current job, but as a minimum leave lists of what those tasks are and when they're due --- "1. do x every Thursday for Ms. Jones; 2. turn in paperwork on y monthly to Committee Z."
posted by easily confused at 8:29 PM on June 3, 2012

The advice posted above is excellent.

Additionally, you can use the power of *lunch*. Yes, *lunch*. You don't mention if your new job is geographically close to your old one, but if it is, an occasional lunch with the old guard is a great way to stay connected. Be sure to treat now and again.
posted by workingdankoch at 8:40 PM on June 3, 2012

More than documenting, line up your tasks to be managed by other staff in the interim until there's someone new in your position. Make sure someone else knows how to meet each of your major responsibilities. Leave a list of where to find your computer and physical files. Be available by phone/email for any questions that arise in the month after you leave.

LEave your office organized, and your computer files too. Don't leave anything on your desktop. Have everything clearly labelled and organized on your server or whatever file storage system your office uses. Same for physical files; go through and toss the dreck, and leave everything else clearly labelled. For things you use weekly which someone may need immediately, leave them nicely stacked on your desk.
posted by Miko at 9:18 PM on June 3, 2012

Glad to know I'm on the right track. I made a manual and already have lunch plans (yes, we're relatively close). Thanks for the help.
posted by ramenopres at 8:39 PM on June 10, 2012

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