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Rachelle Disbennett-Lee

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How To Make A Graceful Exit
by Rachelle Disbennett-Lee   

Last edited: Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Posted: Wednesday, April 09, 2003

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Given the mobility of today's workforce, it can be assumed
that, at one time or another, we will all leave a job.
Regardless, if our departure is voluntary or forced or we
are leaving because we can't stand our job or boss anymore,
there is certain decorum to follow.

Given the mobility of today's workforce, it can be assumed
that, at one time or another, we will all leave a job.
Regardless, if our departure is voluntary or forced or we
are leaving because we can't stand our job or boss anymore,
there is certain decorum to follow. I once worked with a
gentleman who was fired. When he realized what was
happening, he trashed his office and yelled out obscenities
as he was escorted out of the building. A few days after
his departure he called me and wanted to know if I would
provide a reference for him. Simply based on his departure,
I could not recommend him.

When leaving a job, keep in mind that you never know when
you will meet up with these people again. My experience is
it can be a small world. We never know whom we might work
with again or whom we might need to ask for a reference.
Before you burn any of your bridges, think about the
consequences. If you won't need any support or help in the
future, that is one thing. However, if you want to maintain
a strong reputation and a sense of integrity, the best thing
to do is be polite and leave.

Resist the urge to trash your boss, the company, or your
co-workers in an exit interview. Be honest, you don't have
to paint a rosy picture where there wasn't one. However,
you can express your concerns and share your experiences
without doing any character assassination.

Depending on the reason for leaving, you might feel like you
want revenge. Don't waste your time. The best revenge is
moving on with your life and being a success.

It might be tempting to let the boss have it on our last day
or tell our co-workers exactly what we think of them. We
might feel justified in taking a souvenir or two like a
copier or the computer from our soon to be former desk.
Resist the urge and just leave. Telling the boss off or
creating havoc as you leave is only going to reflect badly
on you. No matter what the situation, you will benefit by
just leaving and moving on with your life. Save your energy
for when it will be the most beneficial to you like on your
new job.


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