Job Change: How to Say Goodbye in Style


On average, employees remain loyal to their employer for around eleven years. Administrative employees even spend a good 17 years in the same company. There are various reasons for separation: a job change that creates new perspectives and a rise on the career ladder, retirement, or a professional break.

No matter why you are saying goodbye to your business, it should be done with decency. Even if you haven’t always had positive experiences in recent years, leaving is not the time for a personal reckoning.

Why you shouldn’t leave in a grudge on the last day of work

It is too short-sighted if you think that the last day is no longer important. Often times you meet twice in life. Therefore, you should behave fairly until the end and say goodbye benevolently.

With the last impression you set a lasting example:

  • For example, you can contact your former supervisor or colleagues later if you need something.
  • With a harmonious exit, you increase the chances that you will be recommended by your former employer and your colleagues. For example, when future employers want to find out more about you.
  • They have a positive influence on your job reference.
  • An inglorious exit spreads quickly in some industries, so that you will have to live with a “bad” reputation going forward.
  • They convey respect and strength of character.

This is how you plan your departure professionally

In order to leave a positive impression when leaving your job, regardless of whether you have quit yourself or you have been given notice, there are a few “rules” you should follow.

Serving the Notice Period 

Do not notify your resign until you have signed a new employment contract. You should not rely on verbal confirmation from your new employer. There are cases in which nothing came of the new employment relationship. If you have already submitted your notice of termination to your old employer and then withdraw it, this can have a negative effect on the relationship of trust. It is possible that a successor has already been found for your position so that you are no longer needed.

First, inform your manager

If you have decided to quit, you should not talk to your colleagues about it in advance, but instead seek a conversation with your boss. You then submit the written notice of termination to the HR department. You should also clarify who will inform colleagues of your departure and when this should happen. Customers should inform you of their departure themselves, but only if your boss has given his approval.

Prepare for the interview

If you want to leave the company at your own discretion, you need to be sensitive. A supervisor who has no idea is not only surprised, he may also feel “overrun”. Provide a factual justification for the reason for your termination and provide arguments that are plausible.

Justify your separation

For example, you can explain that you see further development opportunities and the assumption of new tasks in your new job. It is also positive if you “praise” your current job. That can be a good working atmosphere, but also the indication that you have learned a lot in recent years.

Even if you haven’t quit yourself, there are a few positive things you should mention about the strike. That contributes to a harmonious ending.

Complete your projects

You will not reflect well if you do not finish your job professionally. Even if you are frustrated or disappointed, you should have completed your projects and handed them over to your successor by the time you leave the company. That makes perfect sense for you too. In this way you can avoid questions being directed to you weeks later.

Of course, this is only possible if you are not released immediately after submitting the notice of termination.

No sick leave

It is just as negative if you call in sick after the termination. This shows that you are disrespectful to your employer. Especially if you have been given notice, you may want to stop going to work. However, it is not recommended. In doing so, you run the risk that your timely termination will be transformed into a termination without notice.

Clarify claims

You may still be entitled to holiday or Christmas bonuses. You may still be entitled to unused vacation days. These are then converted into a financial claim after the employment relationship has ended. In the HR department, you should clarify these questions before you leave.

Tidy up and pack

When you leave the company, you will need to pack your personal belongings as well. And really only that. A company pen is owned by your employer and does not belong in your pocket. In the worst case, you have to reckon with termination without notice and put your timely termination at risk.

You should also clean up your computer and delete anything that has nothing to do with your work. This applies to private documents as well as to emails. Especially since in many companies, the use of the internet for private purposes is not allowed at all.

You must also hand in all work materials, keys and the service cell phone.

Send a farewell email

In larger companies in particular, it is a nice gesture to say goodbye to colleagues, customers and superiors by email. Of course, it depends on the relationship with the respective recipient which tone you choose – factual or personal. It can therefore be useful to send emails with different content.

If you like, you can communicate your new contact details in the farewell email. However, you should clarify this with your manager.

Celebrate the strike

It is good form to end the last day in the company with a small celebration and not just “run away”. This shows you appreciation and gratitude.

It doesn’t have to be a big party, a small drink is enough. You can decide for yourself whether the farewell is celebrated in the company or after work. Cakes, other little things or a glass of sparkling wine are usually offered to colleagues and superiors when they get together.

Usually, it depends on the size of the company who is invited. In a corporation, it is advisable to ask your own department and your superior to say goodbye. In a smaller company, the whole workforce can come together.

Personal farewell

On the last day, you should say goodbye to your close colleagues and your supervisor with a handshake.

Of course, you can still maintain contact with some colleagues. In addition to exchanging telephone numbers, social networks are also an ideal platform for networking.

Get done with the company in a positive way

Even if you are happy that you now have another job and look back with disappointment at the time that has passed, you should hold back and not talk badly about your ex-employer. Hold back with negative comments and do not vent your displeasure on Facebook or Twitter.

Employees leaving a company, regardless of whether they quit or have been terminated, is part of everyday working life. Nevertheless, there are a lot of rules to be observed in order to make the finish fair and harmonious. As described above, there is a code of conduct for this procedure, which enables a separation with style and decency. Personal feelings and campaigns for revenge are completely out of place here. Those who stick to it leave a positive impression.


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