Leaving a job and starting a new one can be stressful life events, and when they do happen, they typically occur back to back.
However, statistics say as the years go on it will happen more frequently because people change careers more often than ever before.
So how can we make this loss and gain easier on all of us?
Step one: Resigning
Losing a job is akin to losing a family member or friend. It’s normal to feel doubt or regret. Filter through these thoughts before you accept an offer elsewhere, and never share your thoughts with professional colleagues. Once you are ready, have a formal, but brief, letter prepared in a sealed envelope.
Ask your direct supervisor for a 15-20 min window that day. If they can’t fit you in, the end of the day before leaving is fine. Keep it brief and let them know the general reason you are leaving, such as another opportunity, family, personal reasons or relocation, and leave it at that. Even if they ask for details, it’s best not to over share.
Note: There is a reason for two weeks professional notice (four weeks for a management position). Exceeding this becomes drawn out and shorter than this will not allow accurate time to transfer or finish ongoing projects. Stick with this professional rule, as it is considered good form.
Step two: Starting the new position
Know what’s expected of you on day one. Having thoroughly done research through the interview process, you will already be armed with whom you expect to work with, what a day in the life should be like, and what anticipated pay and benefits will be.
If any questions are still outstanding on day one, ask them! Overdress for at least one week (e.g., if the office is business casual, business attire is appropriate), this will ensure you have time to adequately observe any trends or exceptions.
Finally, have a mentor. If not your supervisor, introduce yourself to 2-3 people on the first day. You will be relieved a little later when you have someone to ask where the best lunch spots are or what the general policy is on holidays.