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Leaving With Class

Kerry Spivey

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You have had enough with your current employer - the pay is less than what you deserve, you are sick of the office politics, the internal systems are terrible, and the work environment is negative. So you have decided to throw in the towel. You have interviewed and found a new exciting position that will be challenging. It pays $10,000 more than you are currently making, plus bonus based on performance. Now what? How do you break the news to your boss that you are branching out? Here are some ideas to leave a positive impression with co-workers and management. Show that you are and always were a team player for the company. You came in strong and are leaving strong. Leave with class, the road less traveled.

Resignation - the first step in your departure.

Resigning is never a fun part of your departure from a job. When giving notice of your resignation, you should always supply a letter of resignation. This should include the date of your resignation and the position you are resigning from as well as your signature. This is a brief letter. Try not to stray too far from the topic. There should be no negative comments or explaining why the new opportunity is better or the internal problems of your current employer. Be careful to make it short and to the point. Do not even feel the need to say you are leaving your current employer for a new challenging position, because indirectly you are implying that your current job is not. As you walk out the door, you are leaving your mark. This is a mark that can be detrimental if it does not leave your current employer feeling positive about your tenure with the company. Do not take that chance because it could cost you a good reference. Remember a reference check will involve a call to this employer to verify your employment and you do not want to give any reason for not receiving a glowing report. So write a letter that is concise, hits the necessary points, and give it to your direct superior.

The Last Days

Wow! You`ve resigned and you are almost to the finish line with working out your notice. Now is not a good time to tell your buddies at work about the increase in salary, the amazing opportunities out there or how easy it was to get out of this sinking ship. It is a time you should mention that it is just time for you to move on and you have found an opportunity in line with your long-term goals. If you are asked to assist in training your replacement, do so with class. This could be your successors dream job, so you do not want to deter their success. Do your very best to give them the opportunity to shine in your old position. Also, no matter what the office gossip becomes, do not get involved. You do not need to explain you personal career decisions with co-workers even though they will probably try anything to "eek" the information out of you. These will all be things your future employer remembers about your exit, because even though you are leaving, your boss will still continue to work at the same place. The more graceful your exit, the more certain you can be that you can always count on your previous employer for a stellar reference.

Exit Interview

If your company has an Exit Interview or Exit Questionnaire, there are a few things you should know how to handle properly when going through this final process. This is when you should discuss the details of insurance coverage, pension plan extension, vacation pay and any other outstanding discussions that relate to benefits. You will also be asked many questions such as: If you could change anything about the company, what would you change? You answer should be similar to, "I think that we have a lot of exceptional people on our team and they could be driven to move mountains; however, I do think that the performance based compensation plan is not as competitive as it could be. With a few small changes, I believe it would heighten overall performance and make a positive long-term impact on the company." Notice the "sandwich method" in play. Start with a positive then add the negative part and end with a positive. All good managers use this method every day. And this is a situation that you must manage.

Remember, if you land a new job and want to leave a lasting impression on your co-workers and management that will reward you time and time again through references throughout your career, be POSITIVE about the company. Who knows? Your new company could later acquire or merge with your old. Who would have guessed that someone leaving their career at the established Time Warner Company to take a new position with America Online would later merge right back in with his old buddies?

Kerry Spivey, is with, a national resume writing company. combines personalized attention with the speed of the Internet to deliver professional resumes and cover letters, and other documents essential to clients throughout their job search.


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Thank You and your staff for an outstanding job. The resume is perfect. I'll let you know when I get a job based on the resume.

Thank You