We can all sympathise with Harry and Meghan’s predicament. You take a nice long break over the Christmas period, perhaps squeeze in a few days abroad and enjoy some long walks at one with nature. The fresh air clears your head (or maybe it was that extra glass of prosecco?) and you realise that you’ve had enough.
Your current job just isn’t working, your boss doesn’t appreciate you, and you want out. You vow to throw in the towel on your first day back at work — that’ll show them.
Plenty of us will have had a similar experience at some point in our careers. In fact, maybe that’s exactly how you were feeling last week, as you pondered the trudge back to a job that you don’t enjoy and where you no longer feel motivated or valued, particularly after a couple of weeks of uninterrupted leisure time.
It’s no wonder that January is such a popular time for job hunting and resignations. But is quitting your job so suddenly and dramatically — like the Sussexes have — really the way to go?
As Harry and Meghan may now be realising, how you handle your exit from your current role can be just as important as how you find a new one, to ensure that you don’t burn your bridges or damage your reputation in the process. So, before following through on career decisions made after one too many Christmas sherries, consider these important pieces of advice.
Don’t tell the office gossip before your boss
You might be buzzing with excitement about your big decision, but try to keep it under your hat until the most important people know.
Admittedly, most of us don’t have to worry about breaking bad news to the Queen, but whatever your relationship with your boss and colleagues, they have the right to hear it from you first — and with plenty of notice. That way, they can manage the situation both internally and externally, and preempt any issues or questions.
Don’t brag on social media
Whatever you do, don’t tell your social followers before your employer, and even once your boss does know, restrain from talking publicly about the decision until you’ve agreed when and how you’ll announce the news to clients and other stakeholders.
Nobody can make you keep quiet of course, and both parties need to be happy with the agreed approach,
but keeping things private initially will help you, your new boss, and your existing employer to organise a smooth transition.
Don’t look too smug
It’s hard not to feel pleased with yourself as you sail off into the sunset, but try to keep a lid on the smug face as much as possible.
Things may look rosy for you now, but you never know what lies ahead, and things might not pan out quite as you hope.
Instead, focus on the positive opportunities and experiences that your current role has given you, and be as gracious as possible when letting people know that you’re leaving. You never know when you might need their goodwill in the future.
Finally, whatever the reasons for your departure, be respectful of your current employer and discreet about any issues you’ve faced, as well as any sensitive or confidential details about your situation.
Gossip spreads fast — both among your colleagues and further afield — and you don’t want to get a reputation for backstabbing or indiscretion. Mudslinging in public is never a good look, so keep things as amicable as possible — even if you don’t necessarily mean it.
We don’t yet know how Harry and Meghan’s decision to reject royalty will play out, but good luck to them.
Main image credit: Getty