10 things to Avoid When Quitting your Job

by Everyday on June 7, 2011

When you’re switching jobs, it can be tough to stay focused on the old job during the transitional period. You’re leaving anyway, so it doesn’t matter what you say or do, right? Wrong. In these days of fluid careers, former colleagues are likely to be future networking contacts.

After you’ve given notice, your behavior during the last week or two can influence your future career in unpredictable ways.That’s why it’s imperative to avoid some thingswhen quitting your job to ensure that you leave nothing but good impressions behind.

Quit Job 10 things to Avoid When Quitting your Job

Don’t brag about your new job. Nobody wants to hear about your new office’s giant pool table, company-sponsored happy hours and free gym memberships. Don’t make unflattering comparisons to your current job or mention a salary figure. If your coworkers ask questions, stick to the facts: your new job title and job description.

Don’t skip meetings and trainings. It may seem pointless to attend an all-company meeting to discuss yearly goals, and it probably is. But when you skip events because they’re irrelevant to you, you distance yourself from your colleagues and send a clear message that you just don’t care. Instead, attend all the meetings and trainings that you normallywould, and practice looking politely attentive. It’s a skill that will stand you well in your new job.

Don’t abuse your replacement. You’d probably prefer to spend your last few days relaxing before starting your new job, but that’s hardly fair to your replacement. Organize your files, discard outdated materials, and tie up loose ends. People will definitely remember if your replacement spends his or her first week trying to sort out your mess. Not an impression you want lingering about town.

Remember your deadlines and stick to them. Why put in a big effort if there’s no immediate payoff for you? No payoff, that is, if you don’t care about the opinion of your colleagues and clients. Don’t postpone a challenging meeting to the week after your departure, or conveniently forget to finish a project. Staying on top of your deadlines not only makes you look good, it also feels good when you walk out of the office on your last day.

Respect your colleagues. It’s tempting to finally tell your boss and coworkers what you think of their unreasonable demands and annoying habits.Don’t do it! You may need to ask your boss for a recommendation one day, and your current colleagues probably have friends and associates in common with you. Treat your colleagues with as much respect as when you first met them.

Respect the clients and finish the work. Now’s your chance: you can tell your whiny client how glad you are not to be working with him anymore, right? The problem is, he won’t remember your name in a year, but he’ll remember the bad service he got. Don’t damage your current employer’s reputation by indulging in petty revenges toward difficult clients. Courteously bid them farewell. You may be surprised to hear them grudgingly admit that they enjoyed working with you.

Don’t sleep with your colleagues or clients. Do not, under any circumstances, engage in a last-minute office romance or fling. Word will get around and your behavior may have unwanted repercussions, such as raising eyebrows in your new office or damaging an existing professional relationship. You’ve waited this long, can’t you wait a few more weeks?

Don’t steal office supplies, toilet paper, coffee filters or even software. If there is any confusion in your mind about what theft entails, here’s a simple way to draw the line: taking anything from the office that you did not pay for is theft (yes, technically, even the programs that you took from work and installed on your personal computer). Don’t worry, your new office will have plenty of supplies for you to play with.

Resist the temptation to call in sick on your last day. Avoiding the formal closure of a last day is cowardly. Even if you’re genuinely feeling unwell, make the effort to show up at your usual time, stay until the end of the workday, and bid farewells. Try not to skip as you walk out to your car, but you’re allowed to scream “Yippee!” when you’ve turned the comer.

Don’t just add everyone in the office to your personal mailing list. But they did say to stay in touch, didn’t they? No, they didn’t mean add them to your personal spam list for superstitious chain letters, religious proselytizing, political rants, or chatty mass updates. Just because you once worked with someone doesn’t mean they want to receive email from you forthe next decade. Respect your coworkers’ contact information.

By not respecting the above rules, you may inadvertently damage your career down the road, often in very serious ways, so just don’t do it!

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