The act of changing companies is always a tough decision. Whatever the reason – career growth, better opportunities to learn, toxic environment, bad manager, commute duration or increased pay, what you leave and how you leave matters more than when you leave. I recently shared a post – I am Quitting My Job. How Does It Matter How I Leave? From the response (40k views, over 2200 likes, 250+ comments and more than 220 shares) it did seem like the topic garnered interest among readers. Thank you for taking the time to share your perspectives.
Memories are short at the workplace but the legacies you leave behind last beyond the organization. The ‘recency’ effect counts and despite all that wonderful work you may have done while you were around, people will remember you for what you did last. Were you consistent in your behavior and actions? Did you do as you promised all the way till your last day of work?
Unless you do leave behind a better experience for your team and organization there is little reason for them to remember you. Does it matter? Yes it does. Why?
Leaving behind a legacy means there are newer and better ways to now manage how work was done before you joined. It also means there is positive energy and commitment to achieve more. There is greater appreciation for what your team delivers and has an impact on. It is reflection of your character – if you are truly committed to your craft then you will exhibit professionalism right through till the last day.
Nothing can be more fulfilling than hearing of how the new process you set up continues to be the benchmark long after you have left. Or how the campaign you initiated is now engrained in the DNA of the organization.
Or, do you want to be remembered for someone who dropped the ball? Someone who left the team in the lurch? Or became indifferent to what stakeholders expected because you had another job offer on hand?
At the workplace, no matter what the situation is – you may have a bad boss, a toxic environment or a crazy schedule, you have a responsibility of giving it your best all the way till your last day. If you are responsible and one who respects yourself and the team you will do your bit to find a replacement with the help of your hiring team and provide sufficient insights into how the work can be managed. Even after you leave you will stay in touch till you know that the new person has settled into the role.
Let your leaders and stakeholders know of your decision to move on. Give your team the context and information they need to succeed. There is a lot of tacit information which gets lost during transitions and that is your responsibility to pass on. Be it ways of working, the approaches to adopt to tackle certain organizational systems, how people react to situations, what you learnt along the way and the nuances that can help the next person succeed.
The world is a small place and word travels on not what you were capable of, but, more importantly on what you left behind and how you behaved when you left. It isn’t about mannerisms but if your actions were consistent with what you said.
So the choice is – do you want people to say ‘good riddance’ or a ‘big loss’ to see you go.