Resigning from your role can be challenging. While you are aware of your decision, and have carefully planned your resignation, it may take your employer by surprise. Different bosses will respond in their own way to the news, though what is universal is that they will all start to plan what life looks like at the organisation after your exit.
With the trend of the “Great Resignation” rolling through the USA and expected hit Australia in a matter of time, there’s likely to be many resignations as people reconsider what they want from their jobs and revaluate what’s important to them. Perhaps you’re thinking about leaving your current job in pursuit of something that suits you better or will help your career.
The period between when you hand in your notice and actually leave your role is so important. Not only is it important to stay in contact with your new employer, but also to play your part in ensuring a smooth transition between you and your replacement.
Here are ten tips as to how you can make the most of your notice period:
1. Work with your employer on your notice period
I’m sure your new employer is eager for you to start with them as soon as possible, but make sure you give enough notice to your current employer so as they are not being left high and dry. As a starting point, provide your employer with the notice required by your employment contract and, if possible, offer some flexibility to best ensure projects are closed off.
2. Don’t check out until you’re done
It’s common to see people slow down once they have resigned from their current role. As they look to the challenge of starting a new role, they might lower their work rate in their current role to conserve energy. Try and avoid going into cruise control during your notice period. Leave with the brand of someone who sprinted all the way to the finish line. Don’t use up all those personal leave days, just because they are available to you.
3. Remember which team you’re currently on
While your time working with your current company will soon be coming to an end, your reputation will be there long after you leave. It’s okay to be excited for your new role but try to temper how enthusiastically you talk about the change to your current colleagues.
4. Don’t change your mind
It’s completely natural to second guess your decision to leave as you work through your notice period. You might start to realise how much you enjoy elements of your current role, especially as you experience them for the last time. It is also likely your current employer will offer you the opportunity to change your mind and stay. Remember there were likely substantial reasons behind you accepting a new job in the first place! Don’t let sentimentality hinder you achieving your career goals.
5. Help with a thorough handover
Whether it’s a current colleague taking over your current role, someone new to the organisation, or you are leaving your role vacant, someone will ultimately take the reigns of your responsibilities. Make sure you thoroughly document where things, projects and tasks are at, as well as all relevant instructions to your successor as a manual to support their success.
6. Do a great exit interview
You will probably be invited for an exit interview by your employer. This is a unique opportunity to provide feedback on what makes your role and organisation great, as well as constructive insights as to how it can be improved.
7. Make sure you say goodbye to everyone you have worked with
You’ve likely crossed paths with many people while working in your current role, and it’s likely you’ll cross paths with them again in the future. Make sure you thank them for their support and wish them well before you leave.
8. Stay in contact with your new employer
It may be weeks (or possibly months) between the final interview with your new employer and you starting your new role. Be sure to keep in contact to ensure everyone is on the same page with starting your new role.
9. See if there is an opportunity to meet your new colleagues before you start
If appropriate, ask your new employer if there are any company events that may be appropriate for you to attend prior to your start date. This will best ensure there are some familiar faces on your first day in your new role and hopefully lower some of the nerves.
10. Take a break
If possible, take a week off between roles. Use it as an opportunity to decompress from the pressures of your last role and recharge ahead of starting a new role feeling refreshed and enthusiastic.
Changing roles can be a significant event for you, your current employer, and your future employer. Having a plan as to how to make the most of the transition period will best ensure you leave your previous role and employer in the best shape possible and set yourself up for success in you new role!