Whether at the rendezvous, interview or on the first working day, you show yourself from the best side. Many are not aware that the last few days in the job can influence their further careers. Bad departures in German companies are more the rule, the departing employees are overwhelmed, the HR departments do not feel responsible. The farewell culture in a company is a good barometer for the corporate culture as a whole. Even job changers themselves are well advised to pay attention to a stylish finish.
If the last time before dismissal was turbulent, the temptation is to leave all nine ones straight. Even if you are angry, disappointed or sad: resist the temptation to celebrate sick and maybe start working for your new employer at the same time. This practice is being uncovered more and more often, and in extreme cases, in addition to claims for damages, criminal sanctions may also arise. Exception: You are in an acute bullying situation – then the doctor helps with a sick leave.
Also, don’t let the work deliberately grind. Many of those affected underestimate the balance of power here. The employer is still on the longer leverage and quickly a timely termination becomes an immediate termination. Under no circumstances should you communicate negative things to the outside. It is always better to announce your departure to customers or clients yourself, but this must be done positively – and in coordination with the employer.
You are now working for your reputation. And it still has an effect if you have already left. Make sure that the resentment and controversy of the past few days or weeks does not “outshine” your overall performance. Apart from that, it is also important for you yourself to finish the old job with decency. Because only if you really complete one phase of your life can you start another. This is especially true if the parting was involuntary, but ultimately plays a role in every departure. In this context, science speaks of the so-called Zeigarnik effect: people feel uncomfortable if they have not yet completed something.
- More mobility?
Rethink your flexibility. Longer journeys or a lower salary can still be useful.
- Not a disaster
If the notice of termination has already been given, keep calm.
- The industrial radio
Respond to the signs of the market as early as possible. Take the rumor mill seriously. Act yourself.
- To secure?
Do not rely on supposed security. Some people stand on the street faster than they think.
- Maintain posture
Don’t hang your frustration on the bell – either before or after you quit.
- Left out
Under no circumstances should you inform colleagues or your superiors too early, because from then on you will be cut off from all important information.
- Show presence
Post your profile in the relevant online portals. Do this early. The first successes can be seen after four to six months at the earliest.
- External support
Get in touch with selected personnel consultants in your industry. Signal your interest in new challenges in all relevant networks, but do not become too clear until the termination is actually given.
- Profile yourself
If it is not yet clear whether and when you will change, use the time to first make a name for yourself. Participate in projects that are relevant for the future and suggest sensible savings. Make sure that your engagement is also publicized externally. Networks and working groups offer good opportunities for this.
- A good application
… is still very important. Revise and complete your application documents.
- Self-promotion stinks?
That was once. Take care of your self-marketing. Develop your own strength profile. Efficiency is particularly important in the crisis. In the interview, you must be able to briefly explain what your strengths are. Career counselors offer support.
- Be ready
Obtain an interim report.
- Oops, too late …
If you go yourself, carefully prepare the separation. Observe the deadlines.
- Many paths lead to a new job
Use all application channels: print, online, in person.
- Helpful: staying power
Deal with the psychology of the interview, and not just in the first round.
- Wrong compromises?
For potential job offers: stay critical, yourself and your skills – but also the company that is looking for it.
- Separate for good
If the decision to switch has been made, use your exit for profiling.
- The time has come
Then when you actually go: leave an arable field.
- Arrive new
Act prudently in the new company. Learn, listen carefully.
- Here we go!
Take your own feelings seriously – even if they are negative. When in doubt: restart!
And another aspect should keep you from going into disharmony: the testimony. In any case, you have a claim, but if the past few days and weeks have run smoothly in the company, the likelihood is greatest that you can still influence it yourself. If you provide a job description yourself, you still have the opportunity to set priorities in your sense. You may even be asked to write the entire certificate yourself. Then take this opportunity – hardly anyone will be more benevolent to you than yourself.
If, from your point of view, the certificate contains negative assessments, try diplomacy and a concrete counter-proposal first. Occasionally, testimonials are also unaware of the statements between the lines. If in doubt, you can complain, although some formulations are generally not enforceable, for example, the employer cannot be obliged to express good wishes for the future.
What if grief overwhelms you? Allow it – but outside of working hours. Don’t show your anger and frustration in the office. And above all, don’t say anything bad about your successor. That just makes you look like a bad loser. If you manage to wish him luck and maybe even give you a few helpful insider tips, your network is now bigger. If in doubt, get help from an expert. Outplacement consultants can be the right people to contact if you have not yet returned to work. Otherwise, a normal psychologist may help.
Remember: Whatever you go for, your successor – if there is one – can’t help it. Don’t leave a pile of broken glass. Create a project plan as soon as possible: when is which project completed, which one do you still have to complete, to whom are the others handed over? Support the training of a successor or the redistribution of tasks. Make a list of when which colleagues should be informed immediately. Act openly and aggressively.
This also applies to dealing with passwords and the like. Don’t keep anything to yourself that your successor needs. At the same time, make it clear to your employer that all trade secrets will remain with you. The better you make it clear that you will leave a field you have cultivated, the more reasonably you will remain – and the faster you will have your head free for your private career planning. Don’t forget to get recommendations alongside the certificate.
In counselors for executives, one reads again and again that they should have a final interview with departing employees. This would offer a good chance to ask about negative aspects, because in the last days of an employment relationship more openness is to be expected. Nevertheless, psychologists advise the departing employees not to accept such bills. Because it does little or not help those affected. Many superiors are only half-heartedly involved and are not really interested in your opinion, but just want to find out what you could possibly pass on.
If such a conversation cannot be prevented, only one thing helps: walling. You don’t leave because something was wrong, but mainly because the new job has challenges that you find irritating. If you are skilled, you can even turn the tables: ask your old boss how he experienced you and get tips on what you could possibly do better in your new job.
Even if it has a positive effect on you at first: Be careful if you are offered a counter offer after you have given notice of termination. Now there may be need for men or women. Nevertheless, it will be remembered that you behaved disloyal. If the opportunity arises, you will be separated from you faster than you would like.
Precisely because parting is so difficult to endure, it would be important to find a pleasant setting for the last day in a company, as occupational psychologists and career counselors agree. This does not have to be a big festival, emphasizes Claus Peter Müller-Thurau, author and trainer, who accompanies employees during the transfer and promotion. It is crucial “that you have something to say at the end”.
Even if the cooperation was not always to everyone’s satisfaction, it was important to “find the good in the bad”. On the other hand, criticism should refrain from all sides. Even if he knows that implementation is sometimes difficult, he advises departing colleagues to actively organize the last day even if their supervisor or company is not involved. If it doesn’t work in the office, just switch to the nice restaurant around the corner.
In addition to a small drink, this also includes saying goodbye personally to all important people. At least a telephone call is advisable for close colleagues. For all others, an email is sufficient in today’s global time. Decide beforehand in peace who belongs to which group.
- The secret of small talk
We will tell you the most important rules for a successful small talk so that you can communicate effortlessly.
Small talk usually only takes place among strangers. But even if you are afraid of it: a little chatting is much easier than you think!
- The first impression
Present yourself sympathetically, the first impression counts. But see small talk as a warm-up phase. Business partners from other cultures, in particular, don’t like it if you fall straight into the house.
- Take yourself back
This gives your counterpart room to talk and you often receive valuable initial information.
- Find common ground
The best way to do this is to ask open questions with which you express interest in the other person.
- Potential topics
If you find it difficult to find suitable questions, simply refer to the environment or the occasion of the encounter. “How did you hear about this event?” or “What contact are you here for today?” can be the start of a nice small talk.
- Warning, taboo zone!
It becomes dangerous with topics of conversation that have a polarizing effect, e.g. Politics or religion. If your counterpart has a different opinion than you, you are quickly caught in the trap. And beware of negative issues like late flights! Whining together rarely connects.
- Don’t hold monologues!
The impact on your listeners is likely to be foreseeable.
- Listen actively and attentively.
An occasional nod or “yes, yes” shows little interest and appreciation. Instead, really listen and recall the information that the other person mentioned: “You said earlier that you …”
- Keep eye contact.
Especially at a larger event, the temptation is to let your eyes wander so as to miss as little as possible. This is rude to your current conversation partner! Therefore keep eye contact.
- Many interlocutors
The word ‘SMALL Talk’ describes it perfectly: larger events are about short conversations, about getting to know each other. Take advantage of the opportunities by talking to many different people.
- End the conversation positively.
As already mentioned, negative topics rarely connect and often leave a bland aftertaste. Instead, set a positive conclusion. “I had a lot of fun talking to you, I hope we can continue later.” can be a nice ending if you honestly mean it.
- Small talk is there for networking.
Observing is fun, but also take the chance to establish relationships by actively looking for new interlocutors. So keep an eye out for groups that are open to each other or people who will give you longer eye contact.
- Preparation is useful
Conversations are often easier if you have informed yourself a little about your host / your customers in advance.
With mailings, pay close attention to whom you address and how. As in everyday work, the distribution of a farewell email can be seen politically. Don’t just put everyone on CC, but think carefully about who wants to see each other in which company – and who you name first when in doubt. Basically:
Separate professional and private contacts. Otherwise you cannot formulate it adequately
Managers are listed first, all others alphabetically
Don’t let the mailing list get too big, but rather send several emails. If the impression of a mass mail arises, this is quickly perceived as rude
The content of a farewell email also needs to be considered. Malice and cynicism have no place here – just like when you say goodbye. No accusations or accounts either. If there is something wrong or relevant under criminal law in the mail, this can later be used against you.
Avoid sayings like: “Finally done” or “Who dares wins”. Instead, congratulate yourself on the cooperation and a positive remark about the formerly common employer – even if you don’t feel like it. Don’t make a secret of your future life either. A short sentence, where you will go and what challenges await you, is always appropriate.
It makes a nice impression if the farewell email contains your new contact details. But clarify this with the company management or only provide private data.
… can be found in the book by Sabine Hildebrandt-Woeckel: “The successful job change. How to set the course correctly”, which was published by Gabler Verlag (ISBN 978-3-8349-2034-8). The business journalist, who specializes in personnel and career topics, shows step by step how a job change can be successful – even if it is forced. A practical guide that shows that changing jobs usually requires good preparation and a lot of work.