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Leaving Your Job for a New Opportunity

Don’t be surprised if, at some point in your career, you feel the urge to move on. It might not be that there’s anything particularly wrong with the company you’re already working for, it’s just that you’ve found greener pastures elsewhere. When the time comes, here’s how you should handle the situation.

Be Sure About Your Commitment

Don’t hint at leaving your job unless you know you won’t be coming back. If you spread it around the office that you’re “thinking about moving on” or “in need of something new,” your coworkers and boss are probably going to feel a little miffed. That kind of talk can be difficult not to take personally. By keeping it mum until you officially hand in your two weeks’ notice, you’ll be keeping it professional.

Whether you’ve received a better offer elsewhere or you’ve decided to roll the dice on a new industry, once your company knows you’re on your way out, opportunities with that company will likely drop to zero. If you quit and find that your “better offer” wasn’t really a sure thing, you’ll be returning to your old employer with your tail between your legs. If you get your job back, you can expect things to be sour. Any prestige you once held among your coworkers will have to be earned again.

Get Your Things Together

If you have personal documents or files stored at the office or on your work computer, quietly bring them home. When you hand in your resignation, it can be difficult to determine whether you’ll have access to these documents ever again, so it’s best to secure them early. Leave your office decorations up, however, or you may tip someone off to your impending departure. Only the most bitter of employers will refuse to let you retrieve things like your family photo or desk plant.

Additionally, if you have any ongoing projects at the company, it’s a good idea to tie them up before you leave, especially if other people on the project are depending on you. If the project will be ongoing for much longer than you can wait, try to get more of your work done so that your coworkers have some buffer time until you can be replaced. If that seems like wasted effort, think again. The fact that you didn’t leave anyone in the lurch will help your peers remember you as a team player rather than a selfish individual.

Write an Official Resignation Letter

Let your company know why you’re leaving and what they can expect from the transition. Even if there were particular things about your boss that always rubbed you the wrong way, leave those aside and focus on why your decision is a difficult but necessary one. You never know when you may end up working with them again, so it’s best to keep the relationship intact.

Break the First Rule: Talk about It

There are rare cases where you and your employer may both recognize that it’s time for you to move on, and not because of any wrongdoing. For example, as much as your employers like you, maybe an account you work on is beginning to wind down naturally or you’ll be moving for important family reasons. In these cases, it makes sense to discuss the transition openly with your boss. They may be willing to help you find your next job.

Leaving one job for another can be difficult. However, regardless of how your employer acts, it’s always in your best interest to step out gracefully.