Very few of us get in on the ground floor of our dream job at our dream company and stay there forever. The vast majority of people will leave at least one job in their lifetimes, and as with most things, there’s proper etiquette for doing so. For one, take care not to burn bridges. Here are some more do’s and don’ts to help you navigate the waters of transitioning jobs.
Do secure another job before leaving your current one–you are more marketable when employed. More importantly, don’t leave your old job until you have a firm commitment (and ideally a start date) with your new employer. The last thing you want is to give up a solid position for a wishy-washy offer that ends up falling through.
Also, this one may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: do give two weeks’ notice to your former employer if at all possible. Most employers today will not require you to stay (depending on your line of work), but it reflects positively on you if you uphold your commitments.
Do treat your supervisor and coworkers with respect when leaving the role, no matter the circumstances; you never know when you might need a reference or when and where your paths may cross in the future. On that same tip, don’t talk negatively about your employer in interviews or with a new employer. Word travels and even in a new role, you’re still likely in a probationary period if you’ve just started. Plus, wouldn’t you rather put positive energy into the universe?
Do update your social media profiles with your new role and company information, but don’t forget to verify with your new employer what verbiage they prefer and what the timeline should be for that announcement. And don’t forget to connect with former supervisors and colleagues on LinkedIn so they are in your network.
Finally–and this is an important one–don’t neglect taking a few days to recharge your batteries and reflect on your goals for this next step in your career. Start the new role with your best self, ready to go.
Wendy Saccuzzo is a Career Development Specialist and Community Manager, and helps build engineering teams. If you have questions for Wendy, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.