How to Quit Your Job Gracefully
There are right and wrong ways to head for the exits.
There are right and wrong ways to head for the exits.
The Great Resignation is coming.
A wave of employees looking for promotions, better pay and more flexible working arrangements say in surveys that they’ll be seeking new jobs in the coming months. About 26% of workers said they would search for a new gig when the threat of the pandemic decreases, according to Prudential’s Pulse of the American Worker Survey conducted in March.
Workers around the globe are sending similar signals. More than 40% of those who responded to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index, a global survey of over 30,000 people in 31 countries conducted in January, said they were considering leaving their employer this year.
Whether you’re entry-level or experienced, there are right and wrong ways to make your exit. It’s important to leave a job gracefully. Play it wrong now, and you might lose out on a positive reference or even job opportunities later. Career coaches and former human resource experts say you should follow these tips before you put your resignation in writing.
While it can be tempting to leave a bad job as quickly as possible, it’s important to resign professionally. Schedule a meeting with your boss before you put anything in writing. When you schedule the meeting, tell your boss you have something important to discuss, but don’t explicitly say you’re quitting, says Christy Noel, a career coach and co-author of “Your Personal Career Coach.” The meeting should take place face-to-face or over a video call as a professional courtesy.
Your boss should be the first to know about the departure. While it might be tempting to tell your work friends, some of whom might know you interviewed elsewhere, this can backfire, says Melody Wilding, an executive coach and author of “Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work.” Ms. Wilding has had clients whose work friends spread the news of their departure, which has resulted in their boss finding out about the new position through the rumour mill. This not only strains the friendship, it can be embarrassing for the manager, who then has to scramble to respond. “It’s really a gesture of respect to your boss,” she says.
Prepare for a range of reactions, Ms. Noel says. “They may have suspected something or they may be totally caught off-guard,” she says.
Your resignation letter is primarily meant to serve as proof in your HR file that you left the company, Ms. Noel says. Because it serves as a follow-up to the conversation you have with your boss, less is more. Most resignation letters run only a few sentences, and are addressed directly to your direct supervisor, not to their boss or the HR manager.
Make sure you’re locked into your decision to resign before hitting send. Once it’s sent, the company will begin its offboarding process. “The resignation letter is irrefutable,” says Cara Heilmann, chief executive of the career coaching firm Ready Reset Go, based in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a former HR professional.
In her many years of reading resignation letters, Ms. Heilmann says she’s seen three approaches. Some people spell out every reason they’re leaving, others concisely state when their last day will be and some take the time to cheerfully reflect on their time with the company. “Those that are straightforward or cheerful are seen in a more positive light than someone who feels like they want to help the organization as they leave,” she says.
You don’t have to tell your employer what you’re doing after you leave the company or why you’re moving on if you don’t feel comfortable. “Don’t air your grievances,” Ms. Noel says. “Just say, ‘I really appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me.’ ”
If you can’t muster the energy to write a positive resignation letter, then Ms. Heilmann suggests using what she calls a “Just the facts, ma’am” resignation. It can be one sentence that says you are resigning, followed by your intended last day.
Even if you feel like you can’t spend another minute at your workplace, experts say the age-old adage holds true. The customary thing to do is give at least two weeks’ notice, but those in executive positions often give more time to allow the company the chance to find a replacement.
Many of Ms. Wilding’s clients give three to four weeks’ notice to help manage their transition. But even if you give two weeks, she suggests you offer to help put together a transition plan. It can include your current projects, as well as next steps. Include as much detail as you have time for.
“Having that one source of truth that’s a transition document for your successor demonstrates that you’re being proactive, you care about the organization and will help leave everything on a good note,” she says.
Your resignation letter is the last impression you leave with the company. Ms. Heilmann has known people who have been terminated for cause, but have left in such a positive manner that they have been rehired in the future. “If you can muster the energy to give a more positive one, it does help you out,” she says.
Ms. Heilmann recalled a resignation letter that started with, “It’s been an amazing ride,” then went on to thank the manager for the opportunity and for all he had learned.
After you send off your resignation letter, take some time to reflect. Sometimes taking a break between jobs can help you reset. But even if you can’t take time off, it’s important to let go of any negative feelings you may have about your former job so you don’t carry that baggage with you into a new position, Ms. Heilmann says.
If you bring these negative feelings to your new job, it will affect your relationships with your co-workers, as well as anyone who reminds you of your old boss. “If I could give any words of wisdom, especially to those who are early-career, it’s to figure out a way to manage that transition so you start completely baggage-free,” she says.
Reprinted by permission of The Wall Street Journal, Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: 13, June, 2021
Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’
Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual
Many people are spending more than they think as inflation stays elevated
Many people have a gap between what they think they spend and what they actually spend. This gap has widened recently as the financial and psychological effects of higher prices further strain people’s budgets.
Elevated inflation has rippled through American’s wallets for more than a year now. Some have cut back, while others have increased their spending to keep up. Credit-card balances were staying relatively flat for a while, but have jumped higher recently.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, the average household’s credit-card balance was $9,990, up 9% from in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to WalletHub, a consumer-finance website. Meanwhile, the average credit-card interest rate rose to a record high of about 20% last week, according to Bankrate.
Financial advisers say the larger amount of credit-card debt while rates are higher is one indication that some Americans are spending more than they think they are. This type of spending can reduce people’s ability to pay for important items down the road, such as college for a child or even fund their own retirement. More immediately, it will put people in costlier debt.
“If people spend too much on credit, they could end up trapped in a cycle of debt,” said Courtney Alev, consumer financial advocate at Credit Karma.
Spending less isn’t always possible when everything from groceries to travel is generally more expensive. Still, people can find ways to cut back if they understand more about why they are overspending and take a closer look at their finances.
The power of compounding is a boon to investors, but not to shoppers.
Money grows much faster than most people expect because interest is earned on interest, said Michael Liersch, head of Wells Fargo & Co.’s advice and planning centre. A similar concept applies to inflation: Prices rise, and if inflation remains high, prices continue to grow on top of already-inflated prices, leaving people off guard.
“People get constantly surprised that their money isn’t going as far as they thought it would,” he said.
The cost of eating out and going for drinks continues to take Dina Lyon aback. Even though the 36-year-old married mother of one is dining out and ordering in far less than she did a year ago, some prices still give her sticker shock.
“The difference between cooking at home—about $10 for nice pasta and quick sauce from canned tomatoes—versus Italian takeout of $50 is astronomical,” said Ms. Lyon, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.
People tend to underestimate their future spending in large part because they base their predictions on typical expenses that come to mind easily, said Abigail Sussman, a professor of marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
She and other researchers found that when people are coming up with predictions, they tend to think about what they usually spend money on—such as groceries, rent and gas—and base their predictions primarily on these expenses. They are less likely to consider atypical expenses, such as car repairs or birthday presents, the researchers found.
This pattern is particularly problematic when inflation is high, said Prof. Sussman. When the price of the same basket of items rises, people might not account for these price increases in their future budgets, she said.
Further, times of stress cause people to be less intentional about tracking their money, said Mr. Liersch. They might also spend more than they know they can afford to soothe feelings including anxiety and depression.
According to a recent survey by Credit Karma, 39% of Americans identify as emotional spenders (defined by the study as someone who spends money to cope with emotional highs and lows.)
You have a better chance of staying under budget if you become more aware of your spending instead of sticking your head in the sand, financial advisers said.
One thing Adam Alter, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, does is create a line item in his monthly budget for one-off expenses, such as an unexpected medical bill. This gives him a cushion in his budget and enables him to more fully examine how much he is spending each month, said Prof. Alter, who has studied overspending.
People might also wish to include an escalating buffer into their budgets of say, 2% to 5% a year, to account for inflation, he said.
Jay Zigmont, a financial planner in Water Valley, Miss., looks at clients’ total take-home income from the year, subtracts everything they must spend money on such as their mortgage and how much they saved. The remaining number is how much they spent on discretionary spending.
In most cases, clients are surprised they spent so much, he said.
Once people know how much they spend, Britta Koepf, a financial planner in Independence, Ohio, suggests they practice mindful spending. Before any purchase, ask yourself if you really want or need what you are buying. Frequently, the answer is yes, but sometimes waiting five seconds will prevent you from overspending, she said.
You can also practice mindfulness by delaying purchases further.
“A lot of the time, if I tell myself that I will purchase it next week, I find that I am no longer interested a week later,” she said.
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