Having bought a company – Rapid Results! – just a few months ago we have had the huge privilege of having the former owners stay with us to ensure a smooth handover. Having come from a completely different type of business that we were involved in for 25 years, we inevitably had a huge amount to learn.
This seemed like a daunting task that was made much easier by the openness and willingness of the previous owners to teach us as much as they could. Is everyone who takes over a new position as fortunate as we have been?
Conversely, have you left a previous position as ‘gracefully’ as you would have liked? Are there things that you did that you have later regretted? Would you be comfortable meeting up with ex-colleagues or employers now?
When exiting a position it is timely to remember that our professional and personal brand is on showall the time – not just when we are working for a company, but also as we exit. As we’ve seen in the news recently, thanks to social media potential employers are no longer limited to reading your CV and ringing the people that you have listed as references but can track your behaviour online.
Having resigned does not give you carte blanche to make any statements or express any opinions about colleagues or management that you may later regret – regardless of how valid you feel those comments may be. Don’t burn any bridges but leave on good terms as you never know when you will need a reference, a referral, or even another job in the future. Anything negative that you may be tempted to say will probably get back to colleagues which could become a real problem. This is particularly the case if you work in a small industry as you are sure to encounter the people you’ve worked with again.
You may have resigned but are still employed and are expected to stay fully focused on the company that you are working with. Regardless of what you may say, behaviour never lies and it will be noted if you start to show up late, have sick days, make long personal phone calls, and are less productive than you have been. Be professional in all aspect of how you conduct yourself.
It may be of some value to make a leaving list in consultation with your supervisor. This list may have items such as:
- Train your replacement
- Complete all outstanding jobs (preferably with a completion date to ensure they are done)
- Leave a detailed progress report for your supervisor or successor
- Leave notes on where files are located, and how to access client contact information
- Clean and organise your workspace
- Keep smiling!
Remain professional and productive until the end and focus on the positive experiences you have had. This will ensure that you leave on good terms and will be comfortable meeting up again in the future.
In our case all items on the above list were ticked. The previous owners left gracefully – and we are delighted to meet up and will continue to collaborate with them.