In 2012, Value Walk shared an infographic that listed the top five reasons people quit their jobs. According to the reading, employees leave their jobs because there are unclear expectations from their managers, it’s a bad fit (job descriptions and personality don’t mesh well), other people on the job make it hard to be there, a lack of connection to the mission, vision, and values, and due to salary and benefits.

The article closed with the idea of examining the reasons why people leave and encouraging them to see the above list as a top five warning signs. Whatever way you look at it, leaving a job is tough. Grief is involved.

Like it or not, you will probably wind up leaving a position at some point in your career. How you do it will make or break you. Read that sentence again. Do you see the point: make your exit just as good as your first day.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.5 million people quit their jobs every month. Famous Shark Tank Mogul, Robert Herjavec says that “Quitting isn’t losing. It’s simply changing direction”. And changing direction or pivoting is a really good idea. So how do we pivot well? Glad you asked.

  1. Work hard to be honest. Yes – you will have to face your supervisor (avoid using your technology scapegoat for this conversation) so be sure you have written down what you want to say. This is not your chance to blast out your top 100 reasons why this job stinks. Be honest, let your manager know you are making a change for your life and it includes this job. Answering follow up questions with the same honesty is of your utmost calling.
  2. Be full of integrity. We all know the guy who told his boss why he was leaving to take care of his dying mother and he walked out on social media, while still in the building, to explode a few expletives about his boss and the job. When the owner of the company called him on it, he lied. It was an ugly departure.
  3. Check out the same way you checked in. In the hotel industry, there is a saying from a Hilton Front Desk Manager that says, “I want our guests to arrive and leave with a smile on their face – the kind of smile that comes from a job well done by my staff”. As you leave your job, leave with the proper policy-filled notice, clean out your desk, and make it your goal to prepare the person who receives your position with a good manual or detailed instructions. Don’t be the one that leaves a mess for someone else to clean up.
  4. Don’t let the haters get to you. We all also know the people who have something to say about everything – and believe me, they will shout out their negativity. Have an attitude of gratitude that you won’t be around them anymore – at least until you discover they have cousins at your new job.
  5. Prepare for your new arrival. Search yourself with a job/life review and ask yourself- “can I do better”? Write a personal note to your manager and thank him/her for their influence in your life. Tell them one or two things that you learned as a result of time spent with them and their company. Put these into practice.

The key to exiting your job well is to leave the way you entered in – with excellence.

Steve Sewell
Speaker, Trainer/Educator

Steve Sewell has served as a pastor and speaker for over 20 years and spends most of his time equipping and encouraging organizations and churches in crisis, suffering, and other kinds of loss. For more information about Steve or to schedule him to speak at your next event, visit www.stevensewell.me.