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5 tips for leaving your job without feeling guilty

5 tips for leaving your job without feeling guilty

Moving from one job to another can be a little unsettling, yet exciting. You feel optimistic about your new role and look forward to the new challenge. But many professionals struggle with feelings of guilt as they navigate a new job. Indeed, some may feel like they are abandoning their colleagues and employer and letting them down.

This guilt is natural, as everyone hates feeling like they are letting down the people they care about. This feeling of guilt varies from person to person and can even be particularly intense for some people, as sensitive people have heightened perceptions when it comes to sensing the emotions of others.

According to various surveys, with the end of the pandemic, a large proportion of employees are preparing for a job change in 2023. Therefore, the following tactics can help you make a smooth transition to your new job during your last weeks/last days in your job.

1. Change your perceptions

How you feel impacts how you react, so be sure to moderate and temper any exaggerated feelings of guilt. Human beings are meant to evolve and grow. Remember that by changing jobs, you are moving forward. You don't give up on your colleagues or run away from your employer. The graveyards are full of indispensable people and the company will not collapse as a result of your departure. In addition, the position you are leaving could be an incredible opportunity for the person who replaces you.  Remember that your current emotions are only temporary and will pass in a few days and that you have made a thoughtful and informed decision.  And that leaving your position was the right decision for you.

2. Develop an exit plan with your manager

Evaluate the projects you are involved in and determine the tasks you need to complete first before you leave. Since you probably won't have time to complete everything, select the most important items to focus on. Update your files so that someone else can take over after you leave. Plan a strategy for when and how to inform various stakeholders of your resignation. Consult with your supervisor to determine who will assume your responsibilities.

3. Document your work

Documenting your work well will create training resources for your successor. In addition, a transition plan can be ideal for outlining your upcoming timelines, existing projects, and knowledge the new employee will need to have (such as contact information and customer preferences). Record your processes and write down standard operating procedures for your most important tasks.

Depending on the circumstances, training your replacement may be part of your duties before you leave. Being strategic and efficient about how you approach this can save you from doing extra work and managing unnecessary stress.

4. Refuse or reassign new requests

Despite your impending departure, you may still receive new assignments from your colleagues. When this happens, resist the urge to dive in and do it. With your manager's approval, you can offer to teach your colleague how to do it themselves or guide them through the process. This will have the effect of transferring responsibility for some of your tasks to your colleagues and preparing them to become self-sufficient once you leave.

5. Leave on good terms

It's a good idea to offer to stay in touch with your supervisor and colleagues after you leave, but avoid creating a situation where you continue to help the company or give free consultations after your last day. Choose a date that falls sometime after you leave and let people know that you will no longer be available for questions or assistance after that date.

Remember that keeping a good relationship until the end of your time with a company is both an act of kindness and a way to respect yourself and others.

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