If the economy
is on the way to becoming a job-generating rebound, many companies
are preparing for a stream of departures.
But experts caution there is a wrong way and a right way to quit.
Most companies remember workers not for why they left -- but how
they left. And workers should be mindful of how they might need
past employers later in their career.
"People from other companies hear about them. Some industries,
regardless of what market you are in, the word gets out."
When a worker uses a company as a steppingstone and leaves the
"stone" a little wet but still stable, the employer usually understands.
But if the worker's departure is messy or sudden, companies are
less likely to forget or forgive.
Justin R. Beck, marketing director for Rippe & Kingston, a Cincinnati
accounting and systems consulting firm, has worked for firms where
employees are ushered out the door minutes after they give notice.
Other companies expect workers to hang around for at least two
weeks to break in their replacements and alert clients that a new
staffer will be assigned to accounts.
"When it's a sales type role or an external position, it's important
to at least give the company time to recover," Beck said. "If you
don't, there will be a black cloud over you for the rest of your
life - at least in that company's eye."
Workers who are headed to a new job should prepare themselves for
a swirl of emotions between the time they decide to leave and the
time they actually do leave, said Benjy Weisenburgh, executive recruiter/information
technology with Messina Management Systems.
They are accustomed to being in a subservient role to a boss, and
by quitting they will feel they are challenging authority.
"In reality, during a resignation you are on a peer level with
your manager as you are stating that you will no longer work for
him or her," Weisenburgh said.
Departing employees need to realize they are in an emotionally
vulnerable state when they leave. Most counter-offers - which, incidentally,
Weisenburgh says should be rejected out-of-hand - come four days
before the departure date.
"That is when anxiety is very high and second thoughts can creep
into reasoning," he said.
If the departing worker has taken at least three personal items
home each day in the previous week, his workplace will seem bleaker
and as a result, the worker is less likely to be attached to the
It's much easier to leave a sterile cubicle than a workstation
where photos of loved ones, trinkets from travel or homilies are
Messina Management Systems gives clients a few key tips on leaving:
- Always give at least two weeks' notice.
- Resign as soon as you have accepted a new position.
- Do not give in to unrealistic requests by your soon-to-be old
- Try to finish big projects.
- Talk with co-workers about what they need to know after you
The toughest point of any resignation is actually resigning, experts
"We've seen people turn down jobs because they have a fear of resigning,"
"We tell them that loyalty goes up from the worker to the company.
It doesn't often go down. A manager is there for the sake of the
manager. An employee is there for the sake of the manager, too."