How to Quit Your Job Gracefully
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How to Quit Your Job Gracefully

There are right and wrong ways to head for the exits.

By ALLISON POHLE
Tue, Jun 15, 2021 11:42amGrey Clock 4 min

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.

Don’t blindside your manager

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.

Keep your resignation letter simple

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.

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say much

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.

Give two weeks’ notice—at least

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.

Express gratitude

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.

Let go of your baggage

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



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A Killer Golf Swing Is a Hot Job Skill Now

Companies are eager to hire strong players who use hybrid work schedules to schmooze clients on the course

By CALLUM BORCHERS
Fri, Jun 14, 2024 5 min

Standout golfers who aren’t quite PGA Tour material now have somewhere else to play professionally: Corporate America.

People who can smash 300-yard drives and sink birdie putts are sought-after hires in finance, consulting, sales and other industries, recruiters say. In the hybrid work era, the business golf outing is back in a big way.

Executive recruiter Shawn Cole says he gets so many requests to find ace golfers that he records candidates’ handicaps, an index based on average number of strokes over par, in the information packets he submits to clients. Golf alone can’t get you a plum job, he says—but not playing could cost you one.

“I know a guy that literally flies around the world in a private jet loaded with French wine, and he golfs and lands hundred-million-dollar deals,” Cole says.

Tee times and networking sessions have long gone hand-in-golf-glove. Despite criticism that doing business on the course undermines diversity, equity and inclusion efforts—and the fact that golf clubs haven’t always been open to women and minorities —people who mix golf and work say the outings are one of the last reprieves from 30-minute calendar blocks

Stars like Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie West helped expand participation in the sport. Still, just 22% of golfers are nonwhite and 26% are women, according to the National Golf Foundation.

To lure more people, clubs have relaxed rules against mobile-phone use on the course, embracing white-collar professionals who want to entertain clients on the links without disconnecting from the office. It’s no longer taboo to check email from your cart or take a quick call at the halfway turn.

With so much other business conducted virtually, shaking hands on the green and schmoozing over clubhouse beers is now seen as making an extra effort, not slacking off.

Americans played a record 531 million rounds last year. Weekday play has nearly doubled since 2019, with much of the action during business hours , according to research by Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom .

“It would’ve been scandalous in 2019 to be having multiple meetings a week on the golf course,” Bloom says. “In 2024, if you’re producing results, no one’s going to see anything wrong with it.”

A financial adviser at a major Wall Street bank who competes on the amateur circuit told me he completes 90% of his tasks by 10 a.m. because he manages long-term investment plans that change infrequently. The rest of his workday often involves golfing with clients and prospects. He’s a member of a private club with a multiyear waiting list, and people jump at the chance to join him on a course they normally can’t access.

There is an art to bringing in business this way. He never initiates shoptalk, telling his playing partners the round is about having fun and getting to know each other. They can’t resist asking about investment strategies by the back nine, he says.

Work hard, play hard

Matt Parziale golfed professionally on minor-league tours for several years, but when his dream of making the big time ended, he had to get a regular job. He became a firefighter, like his dad.

A few years later he won one of the biggest amateur tournaments in the country, earning spots in the 2018 Masters and U.S. Open, where he tied for first among non-pros.

The brush with celebrity brought introductions to business types that Parziale, 35 years old, says he wouldn’t have met otherwise. One connection led to a job with a large insurance broker. In 2022 he jumped to Deland, Gibson Insurance Associates in Wellesley, Mass., which recognised his golf game as a tool to help win large accounts.

He rescheduled our interview because he was hosting clients at a private club on Cape Cod, and squeezed me in the next morning, before teeing off with a business group in Newport, R.I.

A short time ago, Parziale couldn’t imagine making a living this way. Now he’s the norm in elite amateur golf circles.

“I look around at the guys at the events I play, and they all have these jobs ,” he says.

His boss, Chief Executive Chip Gibson, says Parziale is good at bringing in business because he puts as much effort into building relationships as honing his game. A golf outing is merely an opportunity to build trust that can eventually lead to a deal, and it’s a misconception that people who golf during work hours don’t work hard, he says.

Barry Allison’s single-digit handicap is an asset in his role as a management consultant at Accenture , where he specialises in travel and hospitality. He splits time between Washington, D.C., and The Villages, Fla., a golf mecca that boasts more than 50 courses.

It can be hard to get to know people in distributed work environments, he says. Go golfing and you’ll learn a lot about someone’s temperament—especially after a bad shot.

“If you see a guy snap a club over his knee, you don’t know what he’s going to snap next,” Allison says.

Special access

On a recent afternoon I was a lunch guest at Brae Burn Country Club, a private enclave outside Boston that was the site of U.S. Golf Association championships won by legends like Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones. I parked in the second lot because the first one was full—on a Wednesday.

My host was Cullen Onstott, managing director of the Onstott Group executive search firm and a former collegiate golfer at Fairfield University. He explained one reason companies prize excellent golfers is they can put well-practiced swings on autopilot and devote most of their attention to chitchat.

It’s hard to talk with potential customers about their needs and interests when you’re hunting for errant shots in the woods. It’s also challenging if you show off.

The first hole at Brae Burn is a 318-yard par 4 that slopes down, enabling big hitters like Onstott to reach the putting green in a single stroke. But to stay close to his playing partners and keep the conversation flowing, he sometimes hits a shorter shot.

Having an “in” at an exclusive club can make you a catch. Bo Burch, an executive recruiter in North Carolina, says clubs in his region tend to attract members according to their business sectors. One might be chock-full of real-estate investors while another has potential buyers of industrial manufacturing equipment.

Burch looks for candidates who are members of clubs that align with his clients’ industries, though he stresses that business acumen comes first when filling positions.

Tami McQueen, a former Division I tennis player and current chief marketing officer at Atlanta investment firm BIP Capital, signed up for private golf lessons this year. She had noticed colleagues were wearing polos with course logos and bringing their clubs to work. She wanted in.

McQueen joined business associates on the golf course for the first time in March at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. She has lowered her handicap to a respectable 26 and says her new skill lends a professional edge.

“To be able to say, ‘I can play with you and we can have those business meetings on the course’ definitely opens a lot more doors,” she says.

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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