But the damage you can always cause to your career easily outweighs the short-term satisfaction. Just because you've got one foot out the door does not mean you can sever relationships. In fact, your last few weeks on this transitions the job can be the most important. Rather than burning bridges, do as much mending as you can, even if a great new job awaits. Because, you never know how your future job would treat you, like this present one while you left the earlier one, and joined this with a great hope. Make sure your departure as easy for your employer as possible. No matter how hard and how long you worked there, if the last thing you do is leave a bad taste in your ex-employer's mouth, that's what they're going to remember you by.
The relationships you leave will matter after you're gone. Even if you don't list a ticked-off boss or co-worker as a reference, he or she could happen to know your future potential employers or clients. It's a small world, and a bad reputation will follow you. Professional courtesy in the final days can't erase months of poor performance though. On the other hand, a botched exit can overshadow your accomplishments too. One of my expert seniors often have told me that, both are carpets and both are having dusts beneath. In context with the present and future company, the difference of the present carpet looks very dirty to you, because you’re nearer and can see all of these and living within it for some time, and the other carpet looks dirt free because you’re watching it from a distance.
At a minimum:
- Schedule a meeting with your supervisor to announce your resignation before you tell anyone else in the company. Let him or her determine how to inform the rest of the staff.
- Write a resignation letter for your personnel file.
- Give at least two weeks' notice.
- Train your replacement, if possible.
- Organize your files and workspace. Return all equipment.
- Prepare a memo detailing the status of all unfinished projects; include instructions for completion.
- Make yourself available to answer questions that might arise after you leave.
Beyond the basics
There's much to be gained by going above and beyond these requirements. Just as a bad reputation inhibits your career opportunities, a good one can certainly enhance them.
Whatever you do, avoid speaking poorly of the company or airing your feelings about someone. You have to bury the hatchet and you may have to swallow your pride for the long term benefit. Better yet, try to find something positive to say to your boss in your resignation meeting and letter. If your experience with the employer was positive, mention what you liked about your job and thank your supervisor for the opportunity.
If you can't think of anything praise-worthy about your past experience, phrase your compliments in terms of success to come. For instance, you could say, "I know this team will do great things. Your new project is really going to take off."
If you've managed to leave a favorable impression, build on the good feelings by keeping in touch with former managers and co-workers, who can prove valuable career resources.
Even if you can't envision returning to your former employer, past bosses are important resources for future job searches.
When looking for a new position, "the first thing you should do is call back your old bosses. No one is more familiar with your skills, experience, preferences and style. They're likely to know of opportunities that would be right for you, and they might give you contacts if you're on good terms. I still didn’t face such privileges through my past bosses or companies to join them back or giving good recommendations, but I believe strongly that these relations are worth keeping and nourishing them for the real bad times.
Plus, future managers may appreciate the fact that you've stayed in touch with those before them.
When new employer checks references and a former employer says he or she has just seen or heard from the candidate, he knows the employment ended on a positive note and the candidate understands that the importance of maintaining ties. That impresses the bejeebies out of me because it shows that person is a relationship builder.