Whether you’re leaving your current position simply because a new and more lucrative opportunity has presented itself or because you’ve had it up to here with the place, one thing you don’t want to do when you tender your resignation is burn any bridges behind you. Respiratory care is a relatively small profession, and when you consider that even large metropolitan areas only have a limited number of hospitals, it is easy to see that while your current employer may not be the right place for you today, you could easily be faced with rejoining the facility in the future.
So, how can you gracefully exit the building? Consider the following:
Give as much notice as you can: Your department depends on your skills to ensure quality care for patients, and that’s true whether you’re in management or at the bedside. Two weeks is typical, but if you know your leaving will put your department in a bind, try to be accommodating by offering an extra week or two, if your new employer is willing.
Tell your manager first: It is tempting to tell your closest friends at work you are leaving, but it is best to let your manager be the first to know. Ask to meet with your manager in a closed-door session where you can explain why you are leaving and outline the details of your departure (such as how much notice you are going to be able to give).
Social media can wait: Do not announce your new job on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. until your boss knows about it and has had a chance to fill in the other members of the department.
Resist the temptation to criticize: Most people who leave one job for another have at least a grievance or two that led to the departure. If your manager asks you to outline any grievances you may have had it is okay to share them, but do it in a constructive manner that does not overly criticize the department, the hospital, or any of the staff.
Stay on the high road: When you are ready to discuss your new plans with co-workers, focus on the positive aspects of your new position and leave the negative aspects of your current job out of it. Social media isn’t the right place to share your grievances either.
Offer to help with the transition: Especially if you are in management, you will likely have an array of projects in the works that will have to be handed off to another staff member. Go over each of these projects with your boss and let him or her know what you think is the best way to transition them to someone else. If your replacement is brought on board before you leave, do everything you can to ensure he or she is ready to take over when you are gone. By working hard in your final weeks, you will let your manager know that you valued your time in the organization and wish them well.