Frightful Transitions: 6 Things to Manage When Moving Jobs

Career moves are thrilling, feel-good moments of our lives. But, they can also be hugely complex, emotional times – presenting difficulties you didn’t expect along the way – including one very big one, how to manage your resignation process, and the process of transitioning from one employer to the next – references, P45s, P60s…. etc.
Don’t get me wrong – we’ve all changed jobs a few times at this stage – but there is no doubt that both the resignation conversation ‘fear’ and the reality of it doesn’t really get any easier – especially if its unexpected by your employer, or is taken negatively. To help, I’ve listed a few cautionary ‘don’ts’, and ‘dos’ below – to guide you through what can be a challenging time.

DON’T: Lie. Not even a white lie, or omission of the truth, ever. At any stage of the process

One of the most common ‘shockers’ that happens here is the mismanagement of your new, or existing, employer’s expectations. Either around salary, benefits or notice period – be careful what you say at all stages. Don’t over-egg your existing salary (they’ll want your P60 on commencement), and don’t offer a reduced notice period to swing yourself the job if they need you to start quickly – your current employer, besides being annoyed, may not give you the option, leaving everyone with a sour taste.

DO: Shape your reason for leaving, carefully, and with sensitivity

Ensuring you leave your job with your own credibility intact and that you don’t offend others, especially your boss, is critical. And the way to do this is to get your story straight. Rule number two is to be consistent with your story; don’t say one thing to your boss, and one thing to your peers; it will only reflect badly on you.
Just on this occasion, straight from the heart honesty is probably not the best policy. Be considerate to others in your explanations; even if you feel very smug about leaving for your new role, keep that for disclosure down the pub with your friendship group, don’t let it define your exit. Likewise, if you’re dying to tell your boss you’re leaving because of a lack of pay-rise, resist. Focus your reason on why you’ve accepted your new job, and why you feel that it is a good move for you.

DON’T: Flounder in your decision, or take a counter-offer

You’re good and you’re well liked, so it should never be a surprise when your employer tries to keep you. Don’t be bought by emotions, or caught by pangs of loyalty, because it’s likely in a few months, when you’re starting to look at the job market again, they may not take it so well when you tender your resignation again. And even if this doesn’t happen, you will always be regarded as ‘flight potential’ once you have tendered your resignation once. Make a clean cut – and keep your reputation in one piece.

DO: Work your full notice, or even offer to extend it.

It’s vital you work your notice period. In fact, if you can offer to extend it, even by a week or two, not only will you sweeten the blow, but also you will demonstrate that, even though you are moving on, your loyalty to your boss and your willingness to help them do their job, is still very much intact. Not to mention the brownie points it may earn you in terms of a reference.

DON’T: Give up, let people down or bow out early

You may feel like you’re getting the cold shoulder as soon as you resign, but don’t let it affect your work ethic. People will react, and will often take resignations personally. In all likelihood this cold shoulder will only last a short while. Hence, it’s essential that you maintain momentum in your job. Remain focused on your deliverables, and why the company pays you to do this job.
In fact, it’s at times like these it becomes really important to step up, and not get dragged into negative office gossip. Leaving positive impacts such as documenting what you do to pass on to a new recruit, or volunteering to get involved in the recruitment process will really strengthen ties with your soon-to be previous employer.

DO: Show gratitude

Above all, reign in the temptation to talk about what fantastic new benefits your new company has, and their all-you-can eat canteen. Show consideration and gratitude to those who have invested time in you, such as mentors, bosses and other superiors. By acting in this manner not only will you leave on the best of terms, but also it will make it possible to reconnect easily in the future. Finally, ensure you speak positively about your previous employers and colleagues in your new business – you never know who you may bump into one day!

Happy Halloween!

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