Thinking about looking for a new gig? Have a new gig? These life changes can be exciting, until you think about breaking the news to your current employer. How exactly do you go about that? How exactly do you go about telling your team that you’re leaving them? While it’s never easy, we’ve got some tips below.
When you’re thinking about leaving:
Depending on your relationship with your manager, you may be able to talk to them about leaving. In the tech field, managers often understand that tech professionals aren’t going to stay with a company for their entire lives. As a result, if you have a good relationship with your manager, having a conversation about future opportunities may be beneficial. They understand you and your strengths and weaknesses, so they may have good advice for you going forward.
If you don’t have such an open relationship with your manager, you still have options. If you’re thinking about leaving the organization due to fixable issues – such as an inflexible schedule or long hours – talking to your manager about these issues may result in corporate change. This talk shouldn’t be an ultimatum, however. Simply raise issues and explain how you’re uncomfortable or unhappy with certain aspects of the organization. Your manager will likely be able to read between the lines, and fix what they can. You’ll then have to decide whether or not leaving is the best option for you.
If you think that having a conversation about future job options or corporate changes puts your role at your current company at risk, don’t have this conversation with your manager. First and foremost, it is important to keep your position at your current company secure until you’re ready to move on.
When you’re thinking about leaving, you may be tempted to tell your whole team. While it’s good to leverage your network in order to find a new job, don’t use your current workforce. The whispers around the office, the “are you leaving or not?,” is distracting and will get back to your manager. This can be problematic if you’re keeping management in the dark about your decision to look elsewhere. Confide in as few people as you can, as to avoid turning the rumor mill.
When you’re actually leaving:
When you decide to take another job, tell your manager as soon as possible. They’ll need time to get everything organized – from finding your replacement to figuring out how to transition your responsibilities.
During this conversation, make sure that you don’t burn any bridges. Even if you want to tell your manager that they’re the worst person you’ve ever met, don’t. Be polite and avoid being accusatory. Thank them for the opportunity to work for them; you don’t know just how everything will work out down the line, and when you might need them. Furthermore, throwing a fit may get back to your new hiring manager, and you don’t want that, do you?
In many organizations, the company will send out an email to the appropriate team members when someone is leaving. In many cases, its best to let the news get out like this. If you tell some people, and not others, the rumor mill starts turning, and you’ve got people approaching you in hushed whispers as you go home every night.
If your company does not have a policy like this, then it’s fair game to send a note to your team. In this email, keep it very similar to the talk you had with your manager – state that you’re leaving, and thank them for all that they’ve taught you. Whatever you do, don’t brag about your new opportunity. Wish them, and the company, all the best in the future.
Obviously you’re going to be closer to some team members than others. While it may be tempting to try to get them to leave with you, and come work at your new company – DON’T. Recruiting your current team is bad practice, and will give you a bad reputation. You’ll burn bridges with your old team, and while possibly appreciative, your new manager won’t trust you NOT to do this to them later on.
As you leave any role, there are three key things to remember – talk to your manager, keep it quiet, and don’t burn bridges. Even if you want to sing from the top of your lungs about being done, keep it in. No one probably wants to hear you sing anyways.
How do you let your team know when you’re leaving? What’s the best way you’ve seen it done? Let us know in the comments section below, or join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.