Most of us have faced change and uncertainty in our lives. When it’s happened to me, I’ve reached out to learn from those who have gone before me. I’ve looked for a how-to book to give me guidance, or sought advice from a close friend or colleague who has faced similar circumstances.
That’s why my reading list has suddenly grown: I am leaving my employer of 34 years and looking for new career opportunities. And, wondering about how to do it right.
So, I was reassured to find an article titled “Ten Steps to a Successful Good-bye” that offered advice on how I should leave behind a company that’s been part of my identity, my narrative, for more than three decades.
The tips on how to say goodbye to your longtime employer and co-workers come from Bryant Associates, Inc., an executive recruiting and placement specialists firm. The list is similar to another I found on the Internet that was credited to the National Business Employment Weekly. I am guessing these tips have been shared in various forms over time. To whomever came up with the original list: Thanks! Here are the tips, in abbreviated form:
1. Express your appreciation and stay connected. Take time to reminisce with colleagues about projects you’ve worked on, special times you’ve shared and joint accomplishments.
2. Let go. Focus on what is instead of what was.
3. Leave your office in top shape. Provide employees with updates and leave notes on ongoing projects.
4. Create a morale-building file. Keep positive work reviews, thank-you notes and other documents that will supply you with enthusiasm, courage and hope in the coming weeks.
5. Don’t be critical. You may feel bitter and demoralized, but letting others know your feelings will backfire.
6. Prepare, reflect and move on. View your job as a bridge to the next one. Dream about what might be.
7. Take time to play. Even a long, leisurely weekend can help you become relaxed and re-energized.
8. Recognize the value of friends. A job change can seem overwhelming, and retreating from friends and activities may seem inviting. Don’t hide in a corner. Contact and reassurance from others may be what you need most.
9. Analyze your financial status. Take steps to become more secure in this time of transition.
10. Be open to new possibilities. Your job change can be an opportunity in disguise.
Changing jobs can be both exhilarating and frightening. It’s probably not a good time to “wing it.” So, look for advice. It might make the process more stimulating than scary.