At the beginning of each year, people think about the big changes they want to make on the job. There is nothing wrong with that desire, but it is still important to appreciate the job you have while you have it. It is part of being a professional.
When you leave a job, show up like a grown-up and leave the right way.
I have often read with amusement accounts of people who just go crazy and quit their jobs with no notice in a hail of expletives and mean comments. These stories are fun to read. Some of them even make great sitcom episodes. However, they are not so funny and amusing in the real world. If you have ever been at work when a co-work quit and stormed off in a blaze of glory, it may have been a scary occasion. You may have wondered if violence was about to ensue. It is one thing for someone to “go postal” in a book or on television, it is something completely different when you are sitting at your desk and don’t know if a departing employee is about to shoot up the place. It is not fun to live through and it is not a good thing for you to do.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to change your job. We no longer live at a time when people start a job after graduating from high school and then stay at that job until it is time to retire and collect social security. Many things are good for a reason or season only, not a lifetime. Jobs are similar, some are just for a season and then you need to leave. While it may be necessary to leave your job, there is no reason to not appreciate the job you have and what it has done for you. After all, that job provided you with things to do, a place to go, income, and an opportunity to interact with other people in a variety of circumstances. Those are all reasons to be grateful for the job even when it is time to move on to a new one.
When it is time to leave a job behind, make the change with grace and dignity. When you have a job, it is your responsibility to show up like a grown-up. While at your job there were a few bare minimum requirements that included showing up on time, giving your work your best efforts, and having a good attitude during the day. You were required to act with proper decorum at all times. While working at your job, you should have learned that there is nothing you can do to make co-workers, supervisors, or others at your place of employment behave correctly. You did not have the ability to control their emotions, behavior, and attitudes. At the job, all you truly control are yourself and your reaction to things. The requirement to have a good attitude and proper behavior does not end simply because it is time to leave the job.
One important thing to keep in mind when leaving a job is the Golden Rule. When you leave a job, behave the way you would like people to behave if you were leaving a company you owned. You would want a departing employee to leave after providing appropriate notice, perhaps after helping find a replacement and after providing a few notes that will help the replacement get up to speed quickly and easily so that clients and customers are not inconvenienced. You would want a departing employee to leave without stealing office supplies. You would want a departing employee to leave without bad-mouthing you to the rest of the organization. You would want the departing employee to thank you for the opportunity and wish you the best in your future endeavors. If you would want these things, don’t you think you should provide them before you leave your current job.?
Never burn a bridge you may need to walk across later.
Leaving a job in a mad rage and negative outburst may be fun in the short run. But, such behavior often has consequences that are bigger than the short-term pleasure of leaving the job in a nasty way. Leave a job so that if you have to work with any of the people at the business in the future, you can do it comfortably.
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