Often you will hear recruiters in our industry talk about the first impression you make with a company. It is usually the one thing that will stand out in a manager’s mind when making that hiring decision. But how many people think about the “Last Impression”. I have talked about how to properly resign in other blog posts. The first impression may get you the dream job, but the last impression is more important. The way you leave a company after resigning will affect your future tremendously. Here are a couple of different scenarios to explore.
- You have just handed in your resignation with a company that is in a very competitive industry and have signed a non-compete or non-solicitation agreement. In most cases, you will be asked to pack up your desk and will be paid the required severance. This is usually because of the sensitive client or product information that you may have access to.
- You have given your notice and the company has come back with a counter offer. In this scenario, the company realizes one of two things, a) you are a valuable member of the team and they would like you to stay with them and/or b) they do not want to go through the recruitment and training process to replace you.
- You have given your 2 weeks’ notice and the company has accepted that.
In any of the above scenarios, which are not all of the possibilities, your reaction will dictate how the employment relationship ends. If you are professional, you will likely have a long lasting relationship with your soon to be former manager. Remember this is the person that you want to provide a strong reference and someone who may be able to open doors in the industry. You may also consider what could happen if your new job does not work out, maybe your old boss will take you back. This means that during your notice period you continue to work for the company, praise the company and be a productive team member until the very last minute of work.
Should you decide to gloat to other employees about your new position and the perks that you get, talk badly about the current company while still working there or think that your notice period means that you do not have to complete the required work; then do not expect to get anything in return. That manager has just seen the true you. You would be wise not to include that person on your reference list and not to contact them for help in the future. Even if you were a great employee for the duration of your employment, you have just made your last impression.
Getting a new job offer can be exciting and rewarding; resigning from a company can be stressful and reveal other emotions. Do not let these emotions get the best of you. As I often hear people say, “Take the high road” even if things were not always so great with your employer. It will serve you better in the future.