Saying a Proper Farewell m30.jpg

While you're tying up logistical and financial loose ends, you also need to consider personal relationships. During your time with the company, you've been part of a professional network that may have included colleagues, associates, vendors, customers, clients, and the public. Now you'll have to find a way to say goodbye to your colleagues and coworkers, and it probably won't be easy for any of you.

The first step in easing the pain is to preempt the information flow. That is, try to be the bearer of the news yourself, even if it means putting on your running shoes to beat the grapevine newscasters and rumor mills. Also, be sure to tell everyone the same story - preferably the one that you and your employer have agreed upon in advance - about why you're leaving the company. Fight the natural urge to "blast the boss" or "trash the company." Blowing off steam makes you feel better, but it won't make your situation any better and could make it much worse.

In some cases, your employer might ask you to delay telling people about your impending departure, particularly if you're in the process of closing an important deal with a third party. You'll want to comply with your employer's wishes both to keep the peace and to benefit the company. Similarly, you may be forced to leave the company before you've had a chance to say goodbye to your coworkers and the other members of your network. In either case, you still can ease the blow and put a positive spin on your departure if you take the reins. Even if you've left the company, you can still orchestrate a gracious exit after the fact by making phone calls or sending letters of farewell to everyone on your address list. You might say: "It's been a great eight years. As you know, I'm moving onto bigger and better things. I've really appreciated the opportunity to work with you."

By recognizing the people who have helped you in the past, you're creating an important bridge that will serve you well in the future. You never know who will be able to help you jumpstart your career, when you're ready. A call or letter from you will give your contacts a reason to get in touch, or provide you with an easier entrée to them, when the time is right to reconnect.

©Copyright 2008 Professionals In Transition Support Group, Inc.

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