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How to Leave Your Position with a Good Lasting Impression

HERC Star
By Higher Education Recruitment Consortium
April 10, 2017
An image of coworkers waving goodbye.

Leaving a job, even for a better and more exciting opportunity, can be a stressful process, especially if you’ve enjoyed working with your colleagues and have a strong relationship with your superiors. However, sometimes a great opportunity arises that has to be taken. Moving on to other opportunities can be a chance to demonstrate grace and gratitude. You can use your final days to affirm a positive relationship between you and your soon-to-be former employer and demonstrate dignity as you move on to bigger and better things. Here are a few tips to help you leave a great last impression.

Give Plenty of Notice

Employers tend to get frustrated when an employee decides to pursue a new opportunity without giving sufficient notice of his or her intent. No one, including your soon-to-be former coworkers, will appreciate having to drop their own tasks and scramble to fill the void you leave. When working in higher education, there are committee positions, class schedules, and tenure tracks to consider. That’s why providing ample notice of your intent to move on is a great way to leave your relationship with your employer and co-workers on a positive note—and ensure that you’ll receive a positive reference in the future.

Be Organized and Proactive

As a courtesy to your workplace, it’s best to try to tie up any loose ends you might leave behind as you move on from this job to other opportunities. Do your part to finish up your role in ongoing projects and courses. To make your replacement’s job easier, you can also leave a how-to list or two regarding your responsibilities or put together some materials you’ve drafted over your time there, such as class syllabi or curriculum information. Don’t forget to attend to the little details: cleaning up your desk area, gathering your things from the communal kitchen, and the like. Don’t wait until your last day to get everything in order.

Deliver Personal Thanks

While you may be overjoyed at the prospect of beginning your new job after leaving your current one, take a moment and connect with your superiors and colleagues. A great deal of time goes into filling tenure, lecturer, adjunct and other faculty positions. Because the academic world is small, it’s important to leave your position with positivity intact.  Send handwritten notes to your co-workers and department head or dean, thanking them for the time you have shared and the opportunity to learn. These personal touches go a long way in keeping a strong professional network, securing a positive reference, and leaving your job on positive, graceful terms.

While it may seem overwhelming to leave your job for your next opportunity, it’s something that every person faces at one time or another. It’s important to begin your next chapter by making a positive close to your last one. As previously stated, the world of academia is small, and if you leave a position on bad terms, it can result in a negative reputation, affecting your future job prospects.  Moreover, professionalism and consideration go a long way toward making sure you associate your work and career with positive feelings.

Leaving your job doesn’t have to be messy, stressful, or cringe-worthy. Instead, follow a few of the tips above and spend your last day at work smiling.

 

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