You have just tendered in your resignation and have a brand new job in your pocket. You may be moving for higher pay, career growth, challenging opportunities, better work environment, because you simply hate the boss or other reasons best known to you.
Notice period – make your exit smooth
Floating on cloud nine, your balloon is suddenly punctured as you realise you still have to get through the terrifying notice period. Some people do strike pay dirt and the employer asks them to leave shortly after they hand in their resignation. But, not everyone is so lucky and most of us have to tide through the mandatory notice period of four or eight weeks.
A decidedly hard time is staring you in the face as coworkers sympathies change for a soon-to-be-former employee.
Office pettiness comes out in full force; everyone from bosses and colleagues to subordinates turn unreasonable and disagreeable overnight. Having to tell your resignation story again and again is actually the least of your troubles as the surrounding envy, scorn and resentment has you jumping through hoops all the time.
Lame-duck employee syndrome sets in and you become the outsider, no longer considered a part of the team.
In fact, sly remarks are aimed to make you feel guilty for ‘jumping ship’. Then, nasty rumours reach your ears that you haven’t quit of your own accord, but are being forced out or fired. Not to mention the company’s suspicious scrutiny suspecting you of sabotage or even espionage.
Your dreams of a teary-eyed farewell die prematurely as you end up feeling powerless and miserable in the ‘never-ending’ notice period. The stage is set for a bumpy ride that can completely sour your happiness.
But, its up to you to make the best of the situation before an emotional limbo sets in. Here are a few tips on the same:
First things first
Do not burn your bridges by storming out of the door in a fit of exasperation. Not only will this spoil your references, but you never know when the manager/colleague may cross your path again.
Check your company policy and employment contract for the specified notice period, which may range from a week to a month or even more.
Grin and bear it
Square up to the challenge ahead with a positive and professional approach. Be proactive and do not give in to the pettiness by losing your cool and reacting in kind.
The smouldering issue can easily snowball and jeopardise your new job too. For one, it provides your boss with an excellent excuse to give you a bad reference!
So, give others a wide berth and try to stick out the period with your reputation and integrity intact. Maintain a low profile without criticising the company/work/boss or boasting about your new job. If someone asks why you are leaving, make generic statements such as, ‘It’s a career move’ or ‘it’s an opportunity I just cannot pass up’.
Shield yourself from confrontations; others may only be trying to goad you into retaliating. Brace yourself to maintain your composure in the face of emotional outbursts and psychological attacks. But, do not let anyone exploit you either, boss included.
Tie up loose ends
Concentrate on turning in quality work as usual. Do not cut yourself slack by compromising on the work just because, ‘I am leaving anyway.’
Try to minimise the disruption your departure may cause by wrapping up unfinished projects and clearing the way for the new incumbent. Also, offer to assist in finding your replacement, breaking him in and handing over the reins properly.
Walk on eggshells
The management may make a last ditch-attempt to bail out the situation by making a counteroffer in the exit interview.
It’s considered best to graciously decline the flattering offer and remain noncommittal when they probe into your real reasons for leaving. Diplomatically express your sincere appreciation and say you enjoyed working there without going overboard with excessive regret.
Keep in mind that the notice period is an excellent opportunity to nurture relationships. You can even give thank-you cards or send emails wishing everyone well.
All said and done, do the best you can to make a smooth transition and leave on a good note. Having an excited eye on the horizon will help you to tide over the situation.
People quit all the time and the company will survive without you. Remember if you got to go, you got to go!
Send this article to Friends by