Leave Your Current Job in Style: A Checklist
It is understood in the corporate world that you are not going to work at a company forever, especially if it is your first job at a legal firm. People switch jobs all the time, hence, there are proper procedures in place that streamline the process. However, it’s important that you leave your job as gracefully as possible, because you want to leave your employer on very good terms to safeguard future opportunities for yourself at this company.
Leaving a job is a simple process, but people can often feel guilty especially when their employer has been nothing but good to them. Remember, it is your right to leave your job whenever you want, so there is nothing to feel guilty about. Just make sure you follow this checklist to smoothen the process as much as possible:
– Pull the Plug When the Time is Right
It takes a couple of months to figure out that your new job at a big legal firm is not the right fit for you. As soon as you realize this, start the process of exiting from the firm. There is no benefit in delaying the inevitable, and you would be doing both yourself and your employer a favor if you quit as soon as possible once you’ve made up your mind.
– Complete Ongoing Projects
In a legal firm, ongoing projects are usually cases which you’ve been given, and it is good practice that you stay and complete any cases assigned to you before exiting the firm. Usually, this is achieved during the two-week notice (or more, depending upon your employer) that you are supposed to hand in to your employer before resigning.
In case you are not able to wrap things up during the notice period, make sure you allow them to call you up on your cell phone in case they need assistance with the cases you were handling before you left.
– Make the Goodbye Personal
Don’t rely on the HR department or the company grapevine to spread the news of your departure. Make sure you make a personal visit to all those people at the office you’ve worked closely with, including and especially a partner of the firm, because you want to leave a good lasting impression of your work ethic. Who knows, maybe you’d come across these people during your legal career, and you want them to hold you in high regard.
Before You Leave
A lot can go wrong when you are leaving your job, and it is imperative that you do the following to make a graceful exit.
– Ask Your Employer Before Deleting Emails
Legal firms usually have a data retention policy, and it is imperative that you not delete your email archive when you leave the job, even if the emails are backed up on the company server. Deleting many emails all at once raises suspicion and can lead to a legal investigation against you as you may be violating the retention of data policy set up by the company. It’s important that you ask your employer for clarification in this matter and delete only those files which you can delete.
– Only Positive Things in The Exit Interview
There are times when you want to vent out your feelings about your supervisor who has wronged you, but the exit interview is not that time. Even if the reason behind you leaving your job is someone at the company, talk about the good things that happened to you instead.
For example, if this was your first job, you can talk about how this was an amazing learning experience for you and how much you appreciate the training you received by your senior colleagues. Word spreads like wildfire in legal firms, and it is best to say only good things because you may come across the same people at another point in your life.
– Be as Professional as You Can
You can make your exit as dramatic as possible, but that also means burning a lot of bridges. Know that no one will stand beside you even if you’ve been wronged at the workplace and creating a scene will only cause you harm in the long run. You need your employer to like you even when you’re leaving, and you want to give them the impression that you like them as well. To make sure you do it right, construct a reason in your mind for why you are leaving this job, ensuring that you leave out all the negative reasons behind your resignation, if any.
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