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Diplomacy is defined as “tact and skill in dealing with people.” While it’s always a good idea to be diplomatic in your personal and business dealings, it’s especially important when you are leaving a job.
The world is much smaller than we sometimes think. You never know when or how paths will cross again, especially considering the fluidity of today’s job market. When you’re leaving a job, it’s not the time to burn bridges. Years down the road, you never know who will be interviewing
you for that job you’re dying for or who will be hired to sit in the cube next to you.
Here are some do’s and don’ts to consider before your last day,whether you are leaving by choice or not.
Do use professionalism and courtesy in announcing your intention to leave the company. Advise your direct supervisor first. Then tell colleagues and department staff.
Don’t do it at the last minute. Give your employer advance notice so there is enough time to arrange for your successor. Generally, acceptable notice is two to four weeks. Work with your current and future employers to set a time frame that works for both them and you.
Do write a professional letter of resignation. No need for lengthy explanations, you can simply state that you are resigning from your position to pursue other interests or opportunities. Whether you loved or hated your job or your supervisor, the outcome should be the same: a brief, respectful letter stating your intention to leave.
Don’t badmouth the company. Once others know you are leaving, naysayers may seek you out to share their feelings of discontent. If you want to leave on good terms, don’t be associated with disgruntled or unhappy employees.
Do finish the job. Don’t leave projects half-completed. Provide a list of projects and review what can or needs to be completed before you depart. Don’t disappear. Avoid short-timer’s attitude. Stay an active and contributing member of your team during your last days at work. Work hard and do your best to leave a good and lasting impression.
Don’t leave your desk or office in disarray. Take a day to organize your materials for your successor. Leave the company assets behind. Unless you brought something from home or paid for that stapler with your own money, it should stay on your desk
Do offer to train your replacement if time permits. If you leave before that person comes on board, make yourself available to answer questions in person or over the phone.
Don’t send boastful or sobbing farewell e-mails. If you choose to use e-mail to notify colleagues that you are leaving, provide your contact information — these people are part of your network.
Do use your exit interview time wisely. Regardless of what you are told, this is not the time to trash your boss or your boss’s boss. If you haven’t discussed your concerns about a co-worker in the past, don’t use this as an opportunity to reveal them for the first time. If you have voiced concern, however, this is the time to reiterate it professionally.
Remember: Leaving with class and grace will never come back to haunt you. Exiting on a sour note can.
How to Deal: “Clearly stating that you’re in a relationship might be enough to get your boss to back down,” Scott explains. If that doesn’t work, try explaining to your boss that his behavior has made you uncomfortable. “In short,” Scott writes, “speak up to stop the behavior sooner rather than later.”
How to Deal: “Bring this out in the open to clarify what the policies are,” Scott suggests. A frank conversation with your boss might reveal that she thinks your vacation requests coincide with the company’s busiest and most demanding periods. “Negotiate time off for when you’re not needed,” she recommends.
How to Deal: This is one situation where you probably don’t want to confront your boss directly, Scott advises. Document any evidence you find before informing the company of your boss’ actions. “If you think your boss is committing crimes, it can be a crime to keep working there or to ail to report what you suspect to the authorities,” Scott writes in her book.
Ever known someone who worked at the same job for years, but complained about it daily? Have you accepted an unfulfilling job because you think work is work and it doesn’t need to be enjoyable? The fact is many people are stuck in lousy jobs and have either grown complacent, don’t know that there are better options out there, or just aren’t sure what the warning signs are.
Here are some signs it’s time to look for greener pastures:
1. You dread going to work.
How you feel about going in to your job each day can tell you a lot about whether it is the job for you, says Andrea Kay, career consultant and author of “Life’s a B*tch and Then You Change Careers.” Do you wake up in the morning and dread leaving your house for the office? While you are not expected to jump up and down with excitement every Monday morning, feeling constant job-related anxiety is a significant sign that you are in the wrong place.
2. You get no enjoyment from your day-to-day responsibilities.
No job is fun and games every day, but you should find some enjoyment in your daily responsibilities. Kay says that examining your job’s typical duties is important to gauging whether or not it is a good fit. The things you do daily should fit with your strengths, which are the things you like to do and do well, Kay says. For example, if you are happiest when you are out communicating with people, you probably will not be happy working with numbers and spreadsheets all day.
3. You are uncomfortable with the company culture and environment.
Some people write off the importance of culture in the workplace, but it can have a dramatic effect on your overall happiness and success. Kay says you need to ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the values of the organization. Are they in alignment with your own?
Additionally, the work environment can be another big factor in determining if a job is one that meets your needs. For example, if you love to spend all your time outdoors, you might not be happy sitting behind a desk day in and day out.
4. Your relationship with your boss is turbulent.
Problems with the boss are the most common reason that professionals give for leaving jobs, and the employee/employer relationship is critical to overall job satisfaction. “Define what would be an ideal relationship with your boss so you can take the initiative to help create it or know what to look for,” Kay says. For example, do you like someone who works closely with you or would you rather work for someone who is hands-off? Only after you determine what your ideal is can you assess whether or not your relationship is living up to it.
5. You see no opportunities for career advancement or enhancement.
If your company does not place an importance on job training and professional development, this should raise some concerns. Similarly, if you have been stuck in the same position for years, have the desire to move up, but are not given the opportunity to do so, you might want to re-evaluate your situation.
While Kay says these five factors can be indicators of a lousy job, she also strongly cautions against using them as an excuse to leave without first taking some initiative to change your current situation. For example, if you feel like you have not been provided with opportunities to advance, proactively seek out these opportunities by talking with your boss or consulting human resources. If you feel like you do not fit in with the culture, assess whether or not you have made an effort.
“You need to ask yourself ‘have I done everything that I can to explore advancing or enhancing my career here?'” Kay says. “Do what’s in your power to make a difference.”
If you are still feeling unsatisfied, the job is probably just not for you. And while it might be time to look for something new, your lousy job is not a total loss — use what you’ve learned to help you find the right fit next time.
A strong hiring environment may cause you to think that your job search will be a piece of cake. But the truth is that finding the right job can be hit or miss. It’s important to have realistic expectations to keep your spirits high and limit frustration.
Do you often find yourself at a cross-road between two groups in office? When you enter into a conversation with your colleagues, most of the time it is either back-biting or finding faults with others. And by the end of it you just feel lost and unhappy. If this is what happens to you, then you are also a victim of office politics.
It is differing values, ideas and culture in interpersonal relationship which often breeds politics in office. The worst part is when it leads to a hostile environment and a feeling of enmity. But the ground truth is that office politics simply cannot be avoided. However, you can certainly navigate your way out of this maze with minimal side-effects. To do so, you need to:
Experts say the best way to deal with it is to stay neutral. Avoid close association with numerous camps which might be at work in the entire organizational matrix. Mix with all groups but be sure not to be labeled as a member of any camp.
No Gossips Please!
Apart from the fact that gossips consume a lot of your productive time, whatever information you might share then might be used against you in the future. Don’t entertain talks which are often complaints. Being silent and listening to such gossip can be easily misinterpreted; get the message right across that you are not interested to talk on such issues. Talk about neutral issues like sports, weather, film, music or whatever interests you.
Be a Transparent Team Player
Whatever you do, be transparent as much as possible. Don’t pass on someone else’s work or ideas as your own and take credit for it. If you are a team leader, share credit in times of success and take responsibility in times where there is a crisis. This will help you to earn a lot of respect amongst peers and juniors. Treat all co-workers with respect, listen to them and value their contributions.
Don’t Criticize Others
If you are not happy with the performance of your subordinates, make sure that you discuss it with the person in private or in an official manner meticulously. Avoid ticking off a person in public, as it might become a hot topic of gossip and you might become the center of a spicy and negative discussion.
Believe in yourself
If you are a target of gossip; believe in yourself and your abilities. Things will die down on their own. Talk to people who have a problem with you and have an open discussion. Avoid acting superior to colleagues who are on the same hierarchical level. Don’t think of quitting; it’s the same everywhere. Always remember: quit only when you want to, not because you have to.
THE big change has happened. And you are happy that you made the decision to switch to a more interesting, challenging and senior position in a new company. That’s the simpler part. A few days into it, and what looked glamorous and exciting from the outside, is suddenly starting to appear a wee bit trickier than before. You’re the rank outsider nobody seems to want around, and you don’t have time for this nonsense. After all, there’s work to be done, and you need to prove that you’re every bit worth the fat package your new employer paid to acquire you.
Welcome to reality. It’s a whole new game that you need to learn and adapt. Time is certainly not on your side, so it’s critical to get your act together from Day One. Here are a few points that can help you manage the transition into a new company.
Focus on relationships from Day One
No matter how long you may have worked in organizations, the truth is that managing people and interpersonal relationships remains the most difficult part of any leadership role. Each instance can be different from the other and no amount of theoretical frameworks and even experience can prepare you for some situations. Building relationships is your single most important task. Visit people outside your team and spend time listening to how they work, and what difficulties they encounter in dealing with your team or department. Offer to help with solutions, if any.
Clarify, clarify, and clarify
Nothing is more dangerous than ambiguity. Before you start, clarify up front what your role definition would be. What the expectations of the organization are from you, the timelines for those deliverables and what resources would be made available to you to help achieve them.
Easier said than done? Most likely, this wouldn’t be handed to you on a platter, so demand clarity. It’s also in your own best interests to have measurement parameters in place. As you begin benchmarking your team’s and your own performance against these parameters, work will start to become more challenging and enjoyable.
Don’t be in a hurry to make a big impression
When you are in an alien environment, the easiest way to get everyone to notice you is to make a big splash with a new project, propose to change processes that you think are old and redundant or redesign structures that come in the way of efficiency. Don’t even think about it, because it’s sure to ruffle a lot of feathers and, of course, get you nowhere. Be realistic about the scope of your new role. Give yourself some time to learn the processes and systems and how people work. Patience can be your best virtue here. Allow yourself a few small victories, though.
That will boost your own morale and that of your team, who would be looking up to you.
Understand the Power Networks and Who Matters
Formal organisational positions hardly indicate who’s really in charge. It’s often a core group that gets things done around the place. So carefully observe and figure out the powers that pull the strings and influence key decisions. These could take the form of unofficial ‘shadow boards’ that could consist of members of the formal board of directors, influential shareholders or even outside parties. Understanding this can determine how much and how fast you can execute on your plan, and make all the difference to your success as a senior executive.
And finally, take a positive approach to your work. Be clear that you have come to work and deliver on the agreed upon work targets. Do not allow yourself to be bogged down by the politics and the negative people around you. Rest assured there will be plenty of naysayer and trouble makers trying to pull you down. It’s, therefore, important that you stay moored to your goals and objectives, and cut out the noise. Enthusiasm is rare these days, so keep the cheerfulness going.
Stay True to Yourself
Even as you are doing all of the above, make sure that your actions are above board. Resist the temptation to take shortcuts or measures that could put you or your team in an ethical bind. When everything else fails, it is your own sense of values that will stand you in good stead.