How to quit your job without burning bridges

A record 4 million people left their jobs in April, motivated by confidence they could find a better one elsewhere, and the rebound in the US economy has seen a record number of job vacancies in recent years. month.

Hiring experts predict a tight job market, where there are more job openings than the right people to fill them with, could continue through the fall, giving workers more leverage with employers. current and potential employers. Workers can be “pleasantly surprised that there are so many job opportunities out there now,” said Ginny Cheng, coach of Career Contessa.

CNBC Make It spoke to recruiting experts about what workers should think about before leaving their jobs, when they give their notice and while they leave to ensure a smooth transition.

Before stopping

While executives pay particular attention to recruitment and retention, Cheng says workers may be in a good position to take advantage of the present moment to negotiate better work arrangements or a promotion.

Think about what you really want out of your job that you don’t get, says Cheng, such as the ability to take on bigger projects or keep a more flexible work schedule. Then talk to your manager about how to get closer to those goals. “Maybe you are currently happy and enjoying your role, so the question is to think over the next couple of years: how could that evolve? Said Cheng.

If you agree to take on new responsibilities or change the scope of your job, you can open the discussion about a raise or promotion at the same time, says Cheng.

Plan ahead

If your current employer can’t give you what you want, it might be time to look to another provider as long as you’ve made your long-term goals clear. Now is the time to be choosy about your next job, says Brianne Thomas, hiring manager at Jobvite, a recruiting software company.

Don’t run away from something, but run towards something that excites you, ”she says. Employers go out of their way, like hiring bonuses or additional perks, Thomas says, so do your due diligence to make sure the scope of a new job will be attractive beyond the present moment. For example, will it allow you to enter a new industry or become a manager? Are hiring managers scrambling to fill positions due to attrition or are they in favor of keeping people in the company for the long term?

“There are so many opportunities out there,” says Thomas, “so now is a good time to be very thoughtful and look forward to a company, culture and role that will be right for the long haul.”

After working non-stop during a global health crisis, some workers are leaving to take a break before finding a new one. If so, Chelsea Jay, career coach and resume writer, advises having a schedule for which you will resume the job search, and a story of how you will present yourself and your free time to employers. potentials.

Even if your break is to travel and spend time with your family, for example, be aware that future hiring managers may want to know how this time off has helped you re-enter the workforce and focus back on your job. certain career goals.

Two weeks notice is always standard, but there are exceptions

Even in the best work environment, handing in your resignation can feel awkward. Jay says leading with honesty – “I enjoyed working with you, but it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up” – and name the top three things the new job gives you that your old can’t.

If you’re straying from the job market altogether, Jay advises you to lean on your personal values ​​as the reasons for leaving. For example, maybe the pandemic has given you time to redefine your health and wellness, or circumstances have motivated you to devote yourself full time to your passion project.

Career experts recommend giving at least two weeks’ notice before quitting, the idea being that you will help with the transition and your employer can start looking for a replacement.

But there are exceptions, says Jay: “If you’re in a position that threatens your physical, mental or emotional well-being and you have to leave earlier than two weeks, go ahead and do it,” says- it. “At the end of the day, maybe it is about preserving your autonomy and making sure that you are able to move into the next organization as a whole.”

In some cases, his clients have been at a bad job too long, so they are drained of their happiness and enthusiasm for the new job the moment they get there. Starting in a new place on a bad note “radiates out to everyone,” Jay says. Ultimately, “protect your peace”.

Make a smooth transition

While there is undeniably something satisfying about the idea of ​​”resigning out of rage” or quitting a bad employer quickly, Cheng strongly urges people to aim for a smooth exit from a company. You never know if your old coworker might become your future boss or client, she says.

Keep track of your daily tasks and workflow so that your coworkers can take over for a while and update your replacement. You may be asked to update or formalize your job description so that your manager can start posting it on job boards. While two weeks’ notice is the norm for most employees to resolve issues, Jay says you may need to stay longer if you’re in a higher position, managing a team, or leading larger projects. important. Depending on your exit schedule, you can also participate in preliminary interviews to help hire your replacement.

Then, in your final days, write a letter of recommendation for your peers or managers via email or LinkedIn, and ask them to return the favor.

“As you go,” Jay said, “keep communications open.”

Check: 4 people share how being able to work remotely forever changed their lives

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