Regardless of why you have decided to leave a company, it isn’t advisable to burn your bridges behind you.
A graceful exit can mean the difference between a clean, professional move and tarnishing your reputation and losing future opportunities.
While there are no guarantees for keeping employment options open, implementing the following tips from the employment lawyers at Levine & Blit can increase your chances of leaving on good terms with your boss and colleagues.
1. Give Notice
Unless you are an at-will employee, according to employment law, your employer may be legally entitled to having a few days or weeks of notice before you quit. Check the employee handbook given to you during the hiring process or contact your company’s human resources department to determine how much notice is required.
If possible, try to give more notice than is required – especially if you have a good relationship with your boss and team. This will allow them time to plan for your departure and find a replacement.
What Are the Best Ways to Give Notice?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to giving notice, as the best way will vary depending on your situation. However, some HR lawyers recommend:
- Writing a formal resignation letter.
- Meeting with your boss in person.
- Sending an email or leaving a note for your co-workers.
2. Finish Projects & Stay on Task
One of the biggest fears of quitting a job is that you’ll leave your team in the lurch and they’ll have to pick up the slack. To avoid this, try to finish all outstanding projects and stay on top of your work through your last day. This will show that you’re still committed to your job and that you’re not just abandoning them in the middle of a task.
3. Don’t Badmouth Your Former Employer
Even if you had a negative experience at your previous job, it’s best to keep any complaints or criticisms to yourself. Doing otherwise could damage your reputation and make it harder to find a new job. Plus, you may still have to work with some of your former colleagues in the future.
4. Avoid Revealing Confidential Information
Before you leave, review any confidential or proprietary information that you may be privy to and be sure to keep it to yourself. You should destroy or hand in any copies of this information that you have. Additionally, if you have any non-compete agreements with your employer, make sure to comply with them so you aren’t open to a lawsuit.
5. Be Honest
If you’re leaving for another job, be honest about it. Lying or being less than truthful can damage relationships and future opportunities. If, however, you are leaving for personal reasons, it’s best, to be honest about that too. Honesty will help maintain trust and respect.
If you lie about the reasons for your departure, you could be opening yourself up to a lawsuit if you are eventually caught, and it might be challenging for your employment attorney to counter the situation.
6. Negotiate a Severance Agreement
If you are leaving your job involuntarily, it’s a good idea to negotiate a severance agreement. This document will outline the terms of your departure, including how much notice you will have, how long your severance pay will last, and any other benefits (such as COBRA insurance) you may be entitled to receive. This can help to avoid any confusion or conflict down the road.
7. Be Professional
Even if you are leaving on bad terms, it’s crucial to maintain a professional attitude. Rude or hostile behavior can damage relationships and come back to haunt you later. Instead, try to leave with grace and respect – after all, you never know when you may need those relationships in the future.
Any unprofessional behavior could also be grounds for a lawsuit.
8. Clean Up Your Social Media Accounts
Before you leave, take a few minutes to clean up your social media accounts. Remove any embarrassing or inflammatory posts and ensure your profile is set to private. This will help protect your reputation and avoid potential conflicts with your former employer.
Get Legal Advice Today!
If you have any questions about quitting your job or would like legal advice on what to do, please contact an employment lawyer from Levine & Blit today. Our team of employment lawyers is extremely knowledgeable in labor and employment law. They will help you understand your rights and make sure you are not breaking any agreements with your employer.
With Levine & Blit, we will guide you through the process of leaving a job and can advise you on the best way to protect yourself. Call us at 212-967-3000 or contact us online for more information.