Guru Guidance Tips: Moving On TactfullyJuly 31, 2012 No Comments
The mentee, a marketing coordinator, has decided that the time has come to move to a new firm. Though she is confident in her ability to find a new position, she is curious, when the time comes, how best to make this job transition with class and tact. How should she approach this situation, both internally with co-workers and supervisors, and externally with industry peers and clients? With a seemingly endless queue of proposal deadlines, how can she balance not wanting to inconvenience her current firm with not wanting to announce her departure until she has secured a new position? Would this approach be different for an advanced business developer, with a broad network of contacts and clients?
How to approach the situation
- Communication is key, even before deciding to leave firm
- Should discuss frustrations and areas of dissatisfaction with supervisor, during annual reviews or otherwise. A good manager will try to find ways to address these concerns, if possible.
- If communication has been open and honest all along, the ultimate decision to move on should not come as a surprise
- After deciding to leave, use discretion and make sure to inform the supervisor first
- Demonstrate good character and act ethically
- Be mindful of not sharing sensitive intellectual property as work samples during the interview process
- Do not let work suffer after announcing departure – the A/E/C community is small and people will remember
Handling the transition
- Gauge the situation to determine when to share intentions with your supervisor
- Use your judgment. If relationship has been open, supervisor might appreciate more notice (i.e. once mentee decides definitively to seek a new job, rather than once he or she has already found one). However, more than two or three weeks could be awkward.
- In some firms, day of resignation is your last day – must be prepared for this
- Supervisor should determine how and when to communicate the news to clients
- Though circumstances of leaving can affect ongoing relationships with former co-workers, be professional and never burn bridges
Moving on at an advanced career level
- More notice is generally expected
- Even with a large network of personal contacts, must still look to supervisor for direction on how to communicate transition to clients
- Be careful to adhere to non-compete agreements