November 3

How to manage your Notice Period with grace and dignity

We have all resigned from a job at some stage during our career.

Your notice period can sometimes be a very uncomfortable period as you begin to prepare for your exist. Some organisations will allow you to leave once you have handed in your resignation and will then pay you out in lieu of your notice. Others insist on you, working your notice period.

Either way this can be a very emotionally unsettling period of transition as you prepare to leave behind friends, colleagues’ good memories and bad.

Here are a few Things to Remember in that last month before you exit the building for the last time.

Remain productive

Irrespective of the reason for you leaving the company, understand that you will be left out of meetings and decision-making protocols during your resignations period, and rightly so. Remember this is not personal. You will not be there to see any decisions through or make any plans so being excluded from these meetings is completely appropriate. Use this time to complete what you currently working on.

Let clients and colleagues in other departments know that you will be leaving so that they too can make alternative arrangements to get things done, that you would ordinarily have done.

If your successor has been appointed, start the hand over process and introduce them to those who s/he will need to liaise with.

Maintain professional Behaviour

While it is easy to check out during your notice period DON’T. Maintain early professional standard your colleagues have come to know and expect of you. Your reputation during this period depends on your behaviour. Stay focused and committed and manage workload expectations with your managers and team members. Affirming your commitments during this time will ensure that your departure does not devolve into a villainous tale of deceit.

Avoid the temptation to mail yourself company documents you think may help you in your next job. While this may seem obvious, it can be tempting. SO JUST DON’T. After all it is theft even if it is something your designed and put together.

Hand Over and Knowledge transfer

You may be expected to do this, so do it with grace and dignity. Avoid the temptation to let the other person “figure it out” because that is what you had to do. Again, remember your conduct during your notice period will speak volumes about your character and professionalism. This is the legacy you want to leave. People are going to talk about you once you are gone, so make sure that what they say is worthy of who you are as a person, a colleague and a professional.

You may find that you have some free capacity especially if your replacement has come on board. This is not your cue to take extended lunch or tea breaks or leave early. Use this time to help others or get your replacement up to speed.

Remain diplomatic

Remember you are leaving but your colleagues are not, so keep your opinions about other colleagues and managers to yourself. You are on your way out so take the moral high ground and keep it professional. If you are required to do an exit interview and provide feedback about the company, balance this with honesty, tact and diplomacy. Your feedback is more likely to be taken seriously if it is presented constructively and provides opportunity for improvement rather than if it comes across as unsubstantiated salacious sneers or vindictive digs to make a point.

Thank you’s and Goodbyes

Use your notice period to strengthen your professional network. Take the time to personally thank those who supported you, taught you and helped you during your tenure there. The friends you may have made will remain and you can pick up these relationships outside of the working environment. Your colleagues will move on as you are doing. Don’t be afraid to mark the end of your journey together with a farewell lunch or drinks. This little ritual will allow you all to close the chapter and perhaps take away a few well learned lessons and good memories.

Share any more gracious and dignified tips for getting through a notice period in the comments. Would love to hear from you.

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