Maintaining professional decorum is incredibly important when quitting a job. While there are a number of circumstances that bring about the end of a role from being fired to leaving for greener pastures, your reputation is at stake if you get it wrong. Five avoidable mistakes frequently occur which could impact your integrity and professionalism. This guide explains all the mistakes to avoid when quitting your professional role.
When you move on from a job, there is a standard way to conduct your affairs. For example, there will be a notice period to observe, which you are obligated to adhere to in order to qualify for benefit payments, and so on. If you do not hand in your notice to an official channel, such as a written notice presented to the Human Resources team, you are creating a risk that does not need to exist. Verify the expectations by reading through your initial employment contract, factoring in any adjustments that have been made throughout your time with the company. If you have any questions, schedule a meeting with HR or management to iron out the details. This way, everything is above board and you cannot be accused of any misconduct.
As an employee on the way out of the door, you have certain rights. Therefore, it is beneficial to get to know exactly what they are. If you are dismissed, regardless of the reason, you are still owed a salary. Furthermore, this must be paid on the final day of employment. When you voluntarily leave a role, your rights are different from being forced out, but you are still entitled to any accrued salary and benefits and it should be received no later than 72 hours post departure. There are clear stipulations laid out within the California Final Paycheck Law 2023 that explain everything you need to know based on the manner of exit. Read up, as this will enable you to determine the best course of action if your rights are ignored.
It is common for people to want a clean break when they start a new role, especially if the circumstances around leaving were less than favorable. However, letting go of these experiences is not recommended. Everything in life can be used as a lesson to shape the way of the future. Take what you have gained throughout your time in the role you are leaving and use it to guide expectations, boundaries, and confidence in your next professional venture.
When you move on to a new role, your future employer is likely to want references to verify your attitude to work and professional experience. It is your responsibility to secure these statements. Part of that is making a formal request or letting your soon-to-be previous management team know. Some new roles ask for more than one reference. Therefore, it is up to you to figure out who fits the bill. It is highly irregular for an employer past or present to submit an overly negative statement. However, there are ways to manage this if it does occur.
It is difficult to move on amicably when there has been negative energy in a role. However, there are major benefits to retaining and nurturing your professional network. Therefore, if it is possible to take the high road and leave with your integrity intact, do so. Burning bridges takes away your contacts and relationships. Furthermore, it may damage your reputation as well making it harder to secure business in the future. It doesn’t have to be completely resolved, but you should always try to act as professionally as possible. This way your profile is not subject to negative press.
Moving on is a natural step in building a career. There is a right way to go about quitting a professional role and a wrong way. It is in your best interests to facilitate a smooth exit so that your future is protected.