One of the most important aspects of leaving is doing it with dignity, whether it’s voluntary or involuntary.

In his recent article Professor John A. Quelch provided a terrific set of tips for resigning and leaving your organisation. As he cautions, no matter how excited you are about heading to a new role, or how rapidly you feel you need to exit from your current circumstances, SLOW DOWN!

My go-to standard for departures is to recommend you always leave as if you intended returning to the organisation in the future. Even if there’s no way that you think that’s likely!

With the benefit of hindsight there are some opportunities that I missed to do this as elegantly as he suggests. It’s so easy to be enchanted by a new role and race through the exit! Or to feel like you are finally getting out of the clutches of a toxic environment again, SLOW DOWN.

Quote by Professor Quelch - Maintain good relationships with your coworkers


These are my summaries of his nine tips, well worth exploring in greater detail in his article:

  • Think it through – make it rational not emotional*
  • Meet with the boss – no surprises
  • Prepare your departure announcement – control the narrative around your departure as much as you can
  • Agree on the timing of announcements
  • Advise, if asked – only provide ideas about your successor/candidates if asked (and don’t discuss this with others)
  • Sequence your communications – who needs to know what, when
  • Keep calm and carry on – responses to your departure might range from the good to the bad to the ugly, so be swanlike as you complete your responsibilities
  • Prepare to exit – celebrate, pass the baton, leave a clean office
  • Adapt and plan – be prepared for some discomfort after you’ve left.

* Most of our best decisions are made using the emotional part of our brain, so in this case ‘rational’ means having thought something through, discussed it with others and reflected on why you are making the decision and what you will gain.

You can read Professor Quelch’s full article here.


Book a call with me today to find out more about how executive coaching can offer you the support you need.  I can truly understand what you’re going through and can challenge your thinking and your fears, helping you fulfil your ambitions.

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