Your parents might have had one or two jobs and retired, but that isn’t the norm these days. At some point in your life you’re going to change jobs, whether it’s to accept a role with more responsibility, better pay, better work-life balance, or to have a fresh start. So, how do you exit gracefully?
In my short, professional experience I have already lived and worked in four different states so I’m no stranger to switching jobs. I left Virginia to pursue a full-time role in Kansas, I left Kansas to pursue a full-time role in a more desirable specialty in Georgia, I left Georgia to finally live with my husband. I have left jobs for better-paying jobs, for jobs that made me happier, and for what’s best for my family. The reasons for leaving may be different, but ultimately how I left was the same.
I recommend being open and honest with your supervisor. If there is something about your current role that is less than desirable, let them know. They may be able to solve the problem. If you want more pay, a flexible schedule, whatever it is, ask your boss first. You’ll never know until you try. If your boss can’t meet your desires and you have a comfortable relationship with them, let them know you’re looking. At my six-month check-in at Kansas my boss asked how I was doing. I was truthful with him and said that I missed the creativity of being in social and may start exploring opportunities. I didn’t immediately hound the job boards but eventually, I did. He knew that this role couldn’t fulfill me in the way I was looking and he was amicable about my departure.
Once you have secured a new role it’s important to wrap up loose ends and projects in your current position. You are still part of the team until you leave and how you leave your work will reflect on you. One day you may be back at that job or working with members of that staff. Do yourself a favor and finish your work properly. Be available for questions once you leave too. It is important to note though that you are leaving and decisions made after your departure don’t involve you. Things may change drastically once you’re gone and you have to accept that. Ensure you have cataloged your work with the team properly to refer back to if things do take a drastic turn. You may need this for a future portfolio.
You are leaving the job but you don’t have to leave the people. Working in sports often creates a family dynamic between coworkers. Don’t cut off connections. Leave your contact information and follow up with your friends every now and then. Make sure to keep the conversations away from gossip and professional things regarding your former place of employment. If a friend needs to vent that’s one thing, but engaging in gossip can still turn around to hurt you.
The last bit of advice I have for leaving a role gracefully is to speak well of your former role and team. What you say about others says more of you than of them. Maybe there is a boss you won’t list as a reference or a colleague you wouldn’t recommend for a job but unless asked, you shouldn’t disclose this information. Again, you never know what can happen further into your career or how people can change.
Change can be good but it’s all about how you embrace it. If you’re going through a job transition and want to chat with someone who knows what it’s like, feel free to DM me at @xoxAMM.