Seven Tips on Leaving a Job With Grace and Positivity

By Jose Ruiz

Jose Ruiz serves as Alder Koten’s Chief Executive Officer providing vision, strategic direction and the roadmap for the firm’s future. He is also involved in executive search work focused on board members, CEOs and senior-level executives; and consulting engagements related to leadership and organizational effectiveness helping clients create thriving cultures.

After telling your boss that you are leaving the position, it is an opportunity to build a bridge with a lot of grace and positivity. Leaving for a job elsewhere should not be the end of good relationships with former bosses and colleagues. The key is being graceful and positive.

Here are seven tips to help you getting through the difficult transition period.

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First, maintain good relationships, don’t burn bridges.

Whatever the reason of your leave, maintain good relationships with your boss, colleagues, and other stakeholders. Carefully plan how and when you are telling them about your leave, so both the timing and the ambiance are favorable to your image. You started the job positively; you will need to exit gracefully.

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Second, explain your transition plan.

Explain to your boss about how you will be handing over your tasks to the successor. Develop a good transition plan and discuss it with your boss and team. Maintain a positive atmosphere as much as possible. Your leaving should give birth to an opportunity to excel for others.

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Third, notify people in person.

Leaving a job is a huge thing. Notify your boss, colleagues, and other important stakeholders in person. Conduct short meetings, which can be one-on-one or in groups. Choose your words carefully, be truthful, and caring in tone. Tell them where you are heading and how they mean to you. Maintain a positive atmosphere at all times.

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Fourth, talk nice about people and recommend them for certain positions or tasks.

Whenever possible, recommend your team members and colleagues for certain positions or tasks that they are excellent with. This way, you will leave the position on a positive note. They will owe you big time when they get the positions or tasks. Maintaining friendships is even more important after you leave and this is one of the ways to do so.

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Fifth, appreciate your supervisors, colleagues, and other stakeholders.

Write notes or emails about how you appreciate them. Tell them how they mean to you. Include incidents when you were assisted and what you learned from the lessons. Remember, people always remember how you make them feel.

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Sixth, assist the transition team.

Most likely, a transition team is formed to assist with the smooth transfer of your tasks to the team or the new person. Assist them as much as you can, including sharing experiences of unique situations and your best practices.

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Seventh, be open to suggestions on future possibilities.

When you are open to future possibilities, you are creating a cushion or a “backup plan,” just in case you need it in the future. What the future possibilities are may not be clear at the moment, but by expressing your interest in keeping in touch with them is a sign of maintaining a strong bridge with the old company and former colleagues

At last, be positive on your future. Your past experiences with the old company shall serve as a strong foundation for the future position. Moreover, you still have your former boss and colleagues’ support whenever you need them in the future. Be graceful and stay positive.

About Alder Koten

Alder Koten helps shape organizations through a combination of research, executive search, cultural & leadership assessment, and other talent advisory services. The firm was founded in 2011 and currently includes 6 partners and over 28 consultants in 4 cities. The firm’s headquarters are located in Houston and it has offices in Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Mexico City with partner firms in New York, Boston, Chicago, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and United Kingdom. We know where to find the executives you need and how to attract top talent to your organization. Our approach to executive search is based on a thorough understanding of the strategic, cultural, financial and operational issues our clients face. Our executive search engagements are targeted and focused on the specific requirements of the position including industry and functional experience, skills, competencies, cultural fit, and leadership style. Our process is rigorous. We take a disciplined and structured approach to identifying potential candidates that meet the position requirements including subject-matter, functional and regional expertise. We use our high-level professional networks, industry knowledge, and internal research resources to achieve results in every executive search engagement.