24 Jan Actually ready to quit your job? Things to think about…
You’ve finally decided to leave. You have mixed feelings – anxiety, uncertainty, and alarm ride alongside excitement, relief, and pure joy. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons. You’ve made plans. The overriding sense, though, it that this is the right decision.
Euphoria aside, it’s now time for planning and action. Ask yourself the following questions:
1) What do I need to complete before I leave?
2) What are my immediate responsibilities?
3) What are my long-term responsibilities?
You may have to consult your employment contract to answer these, but you do need to address them. Your professionalism should never be scrutinised or questioned because of apathy or resentment. Sadly, these emotions characterise many an employee’s resignation. While a toxic work environment may have contributed to your decision, you are still responsible for your actions and attitude. In order to maintain the reputation you have spent years building, it’s important to leave with a clear conscience.
Leave blame and shame behind
When you work in a toxic environment, it’s easy to get sucked in. In a work culture where pointing fingers is common, you need to be focused. While developing resilience is a skill on its own, you’re well on your way! Your resignation means you’ve taken a stand against this behaviour. Ignore what you can’t change, and concentrate on leaving behind the best work you can produce.
Emphasise your professionalism
Start with the tasks you are currently working on. Figure out a timeframe, deadlines, and how you can explain what needs to be done to whoever takes over (if the project / task is ongoing). Keep detailed, but simple, notes about how you arrived at particular decisions, and what has worked well. Document the aspects which have been challenging too. A truly useful handover document is both precise and succinct.
If you work in a team, you’ll need to brief them. Although a document is a good reference, consider demonstrating winning results or techniques via a presentation. Transparency and accountability are key. Outline and assess problems, but offer solutions too. The rest is up to the people taking over.
It’s wise to go through your contract and appointment letter line by line. There are things you do automatically. There may be others which you have forgotten about. Some of the tasks originally allocated to you may now be redundant. Are there others which you now need to address?
Remember it’s not all bad
While it may not have been a great experience for you, it’s important to reflect on your learning. When we are in survival mode, we tend to create false dichotomies, and we get stuck on them. Do you polarise experiences? Do you think of things as either wonderful or terrible with no in between? Few experiences are all good, or all bad. Even if your current work situation has taught you what you do not want, that is still a win for you.
As you start out on this new and exciting next chapter, it’s also essential to get closure. Fulfil your duties and obligations as best you can before you depart. This is not about proving your worth to anyone else, but rather illustrative of your character. Do it for you. Give of your best so that the poor people left behind can have at least one example of a good attitude to cling to.
The last few days are stretching out before you, so don’t forget to channel calm and leave a legacy you can be satisfied with.