Time to face facts. Your boss and you don’t get along, or you’re underpaid or you just found an amazing new position. If this is your first time navigating saying goodbye in the corporate world, it may seem daunting.
Consider the following ideas a pre-flight checklist to ensure you don’t burn any bridges or ruin your future prospects, career and financial, by leaving:
1) Make sure that even if you and some co-workers are finding it difficult to get along, that you can find at least one or two people who can serve as references. Most jobs require that you provide a list of people who can speak to your character, and early in your career it can be hard to make a list of three if you can’t find a reference from one of your first jobs.
2) No matter how toxic the work environment, do not let it affect how you act in e-mails, your letter of resignation or any other documents that can be shown to future employers. No prospective boss wants to find out that you were negative about a situation, and finding ways to justify it can make the situation worse.
3) Find out from the human resources staff or person in charge of 401ks and health insurance how to simplify the transition. If you don’t have a new job to immediately transition into, you may have time to sort it out, but the forms and calls for COBRA and other needs can be difficult if you’re trying to tackle an upcoming position.
4) Make a list of things that you liked about the job first. While you may have strong feelings and never want to work for the company, or even in the field, again, it pays to be able to find the bright spots. In future interviews, you’ll need to start with these points. Then write up a quick list of things that bothered you about the company, your boss or the job itself. Use them as potential red flags when you see job listings
5) Relax. Whether you’re in the early, middle or later stages of your career, you’ll find that not every job is the perfect fit. Acting professionally about it will give you the best launching pad to find something that does. So too will the self-reflection.