Quitting? Do it Professionally

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A lot of professionals falter on this step. I have seen many making huge damages to their reputation in the last days they work for a company. here are a few pointers for people who are thinking of changing the job.

Any industry you work in is closely knitted. so if you leave a bad impression in the organization whom you worked for chances are it will catch up with you. most of companies do back ground check and if you have not been proper with you last employer they will not hire you. so this is a very sensitive issue take real care with this matter. following will guide you a little.

Telling the news

1. Always take your immediate boss in confidence. take time and explain to him/her about your decision and why are you making it. If its studies mention that you wish to enhance your career. If there is a possibility you will like to come back.

2. The reason for your switch if you are making one should never be communicated as money (though some times its the reason) but you need to paint a bigger picture, career growth, technology change and change of work type are some of the good and sensible reasons. If you state money as the reason you are hurting your image.

3. Choose a good time to tell the news. If the boss is busy or in a crunch situation wait for things to settle down. If he/she is already in pressure be considerate, wait for a day or two. Even if you are at good terms the bad timing of your news can put him off.

4. Try to let your immediate boss know of your decision before you disclose to any one else in organization. rumors are dangerous so if you discuss with your colleagues and then inform your superior things might get ugly.

Things to avoid

1. Never say bad comments for the company after you have tendered your resignation or left the organization. no matter how much you have suffered, it is taken negatively not only by the management but also by your colleagues whom you are communicating. this really seals the doors for your return. Also the industry is very well knitted and if you do some thing like this, your reputation in the industry takes a hit

2. Work hard till the last day. usually there is a tendency of productivity drop as soon as a resignation is put forward. people term it as a honey moon period. don’t do it. if you have been a good employee it should be so till your last minute in the organization

3. Always complete your notice period. it shows professionalism on your side. no matter how much the other company is pushing you to be on board ASAP. this shows even to them that you are a true professional and follow the norms of industry and they will respect you.  

           To summarize it all. the last days in any organization are as important as your first few days. if the initial days make your impression for stay in the organization the last days make the impression for your career ahead.

As one of my dear friend puts it. “Say a gentleman’s good bye”

Facebook comments:


  • Though I agree to most of what’s said in the post but I see nothing mentioned on the “professionalism” of the employer. There are companies who don’t pay salaries at the end of the month. They usually make excuses by telling employees that “there are some payments pending from some big clients.” Similarly, I hate when people talk of “money being not a good reason” and on the other hand, a company can’t spend money on getting good furniture for office.

    I am sorry, your post is extremely one-sided.

  • Um.. Jay I dont see how this post had anything to do with employer professionalism.

    These are just good ethics – leaving on a good note.

    The best thing that I have found is that leaving an employer only increases the richness of your relationship with them because you can later speak to them in another context (e.g. maybe what you’re doing in the new company can be useful for the old guys so you could drop and help out).

    Instead of looking at these tiny arbitrary things like “he didn’t give me this, then I had to give him that” remember that the single most important point of living a work life is to build lasting professional friendships with the people you encounter.

    What’s a lasting professional friendship? Its a friendship that focuses on the trust that exists between two people.

  • for Networking purpose, both the first and last days at work are crucial. Because they can seriously look up to your productivity levels in those specific days.

    Networking is the key for long term success and it’s all about keeping good relationship with your current organization.

  • Jaywalker, i targeted this post to my fellow employees, who commit a crime of leaving badly suffer due to it. now even if the company has treated you horribly the next organization will not know about that. they will definitely check for references. so if you had the patience to be nice even to the worst employer you will get a good feed back. how ever if you behave badly with the nicest of employers you will get a negative feedback,. i see brilliant professionals getting lesser job opportunities due to their bad last day relation ships

  • i am all with the post.. its akin to ‘burning your boat behind you’ which is just plain idiotic in the larger (whole career) scheme of things.

    people talk, and the worse they talk, the less the chance you’ll get your next break.

  • last days matter the most…

  • I have stopped reading this blog, but some times I open it from my RSS aggregater in hope of some change. The reason, most of the posts are only targeted at employees and completely one sided. I have this great thinking that Qazi and Co. have a start up running and they want to smooth the cheap labor mind towards showing professionalism. But how could you expect such things from Qazi n Co., who goes that far as “Companies should share employee’s previous whole job record”, so they can ruin lives of those, not willing to work any more for peanuts salaries.

  • Khan, that’s so true. This blog is extremely one sided.

  • Khan, Jay,

    We’ve never said that you should work for us – but why dont you guys just try out the techniques, you just for kicks.

    Come back and tell us if it DOESNT help you?

    I dont know which employer would benefit from telling you how to write a good CV and stand out — why on earth would they want you to stand out, except God forbid they actually want to give you a chance?

    I do agree with you guys as far as saying that we need posts like “How do you ask the tough questions to your employers in an interview”, which I have in draft.

    But seriously, dont expect us to start writing “How to fool your company and break the contract so that you can get away with quitting without a notice period”

  • Oh and by the way, your entire job record and credit history and bill payment history AND police tickets and are presented to each employer in the US when you apply to any job there.

    If you dont like it, dont try to live there, but you do right?

    If you dont have anything to hide, then why are you afraid of showing how good your career has been?

  • Khan and Jay walker, first of all one THANK YOU for criticizing finally some one starts to talk about the contents, and actually is telling us what they want.

    Second a confusion which creeps up much too often is that i am an employer or an owner of a startup. please i re-iterate it again i am an employee just a few years in the industry and a little up the ladder, but i am not CEO or owner of any company. what ever i write here is my humble effort to correct the mistakes my colleagues make. Most of my posts arte targetted to the job seekers and graduates/professionals because i am part of the same breed, and i am sure my word is not the last in the topic, you are most welcome to correct me where ever i g o wrong, that is why we have this comments section.

    Regarding the one sidedness of this particular post it was targetted for professionals. when I write an over all view i try to cover both sides but as i told you i am an employee through out my career i don’t indulge on the employer side as i have not too much experience or knowledge to critique any thing. here is one in which i wrote about the wrong expectations organizations have

    you two have any ideas on which i can explore and write some thing feel free to suggest. and this blog is by no means closed for any one you can always submit your own articles to be published if you have to say some thing. this is just a platform to voice our frustrations/concerns and give advice to our fellows.

    and keep coming back, your opinions are most valuable for me

  • “I dont know which employer would benefit from telling you how to write a good CV and stand out — why on earth would they want you to stand out, except God forbid they actually want to give you a chance?”

    Sorry for not providing any feed back on producing some good stuff, but as I mentioned I had stopped visiting this site. As far I guess, you are the HR guy doing all that helping stuff. But I am really sorry to say, most of the times I have come across that professionalism on employee side. Please don’t mention the US laws coz its the employer here who will suffer most on basis of those laws. Again a very one-side approach, coz you have never mentioned that in US how employer tries to maintain its best employees, but here it doesn’t matter coz they will pick some one else at much cheaper rate.


    Please write some issues faced by employee during job like whole credit goes to management not techi. engineers, software job treated like a daily wager, employer too slowing process of health and other insurances ( if rarely any provided), no training trips and most of all very slow growth as compared to management jobs.

  • Khan, i had one planned on the employer types handling some of the issues you mentioned. check back in few days, and any thing i write i would love you to comment or correct that

  • from point 1: “…take time and explain to him/her about your decision and why are you making it…”

    In my experience, a better approach would be to explain the offer to your immediate manager and ask him what should I do? what would be better? .. instead of declaring that you’ve decided to leave.
    the point is to feel your manager that he is involved in your decision, even though you’ve already done with the decision.

    For point 2 “…the reason should never be communicated as money…”

    what would you do if money is the only reason and your current employer is willing to provide you options for “career growth, technology change and change of work type, …” and you’ve decided to move ? what reason would you give to your current employer?

  • Usman, if money is the only reason then i am sure the employee at some point in past would have communicated to the employer that the amount paid to him is unfair. you can always cite money as the reason if the difference is huge but for a 5k difference mentioning money doesn’t make sense. so if 70% reason of change is money and 30% is better position i would mention position

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