Time to leave? Here’s how to make a smooth transition out of your organisation

By Nidhi Thakur|29th Nov 2016
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When it comes to work ethics and essentials, we are trained for each and every step we take, in chronological order, right from ‘How to make a resume’ to ‘What not to say at your interview’. Then, of course, there’s professional training for what you actually have to do after you crack the interview. College books, tutorials, mentors, guidance classes, summer internships – they’ve got it all covered. But there is one thing everyone misses out, and a crucial one at that – what happens when it’s time to say goodbye?

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Image : shutterstock

It’s strange, isn’t it? We’re always so worried about how to get a perfect job and how to be a perfect employee that we hardly spend enough time thinking about what happens when we have to go. Do we just throw a farewell party for our close colleagues at the nearby club, or write a heartfelt letter to our bosses explaining how they’ve made a difference in your life? That’s not how easy it is!

You’ve worked for this organisation for a certain period of time. During this period, you were an integral part of the team, the processes, the growth, and the failures. You had your set of responsibilities, and over a period of time, you mastered a way of doing the right things at the right time with the resources at your organisation’s disposal. And now you’re leaving – that’s surely going to cause a certain upset in the work environment. Wouldn’t you want to make sure the transfer happens smoothly, so there’s no friction once you’re gone?

Here are a few ways to ensure the same.

Honest disclosure 

First things first, don’t let this be a surprise to your employer. No matter what the reason for your exit might be, make sure you have an honest conversation with your supervisor, discussing the way ahead, and give him some time to react (whether positively or negatively). Once everything is discussed, offer a fair notice period which allows your employer to find a suitable replacement for you, and at the same time gives you ample time to wrap up any in-process tasks you might be handling.

Negotiations

In certain cases, the employer might consider making counter-offers to retain the employee. Here you need to be certain of where your head is at. If you’re very sure that you’re done with this particular organisation, make it very clear to your manager, and do not entertain negotiations for counter-offers. Such directionless discussions will only lead to frustration and a spoiled image on your employer’s part, and that’s not how you would like to end terms with them.

Assist the HR

No one knows your job better than you, so offer to assist the HR in any way possible for refilling your position. Begin by drafting a precise job description for the role, noting the key advantages of the job and the workplace. It would also do well to consult your manager if they would like you to be a part of the screening or interview process.

The handover

Whoever the company chooses as the new you, make sure you volunteer to spend some time with him or her, at work. Allow them to shadow you for at least a week, so that they know what is expected of them at any given time. This will also help give them a good understanding of the many processes in place at the company – who should be contacted in case of a tech crisis, who is the guy in accounts department who clears your salary, how does the attendance chart work, which are the team Google docs to be regularly updated, etc. In case the replacement is not hired in your presence, make sure you write an email/manual explaining everything and share the same with your manager. Do try and make this as detailed as possible to ensure it serves its purpose and doesn’t lead to any frictions during transition.

Thinking about the future

As the retreating employee, it is quite possible that a lot of focus shifts upon you on the final few weeks at work. Don’t serve your notice period like a jail sentence. Use this time to show your true value to your employer, even if you’re leaving. Make sure you’re as productive as you were earlier, help in any transitional difficulties they might be facing owing to your resignation, spread a positive vibe around the workplace with your enthusiasm. Over the years, the more experienced you get, you will realise how good relations with ex-employers can be a great asset to behold.

For better or for worse, this organisation you’re about to leave has played a major role in your life. Before you take the plunge into a new commitment, it’s essential to ensure all the old doors are properly and amicably closed. Don’t ever make the mistake of believing that a goodbye today is a goodbye forever. You will be surprised how old employers and colleagues can becomes future clients or teammates – so you want to make sure you do everything right to not do anything wrong, especially when you’re leaving!