Congratulations on getting that admit! You probably have already begun to look forward to this new phase in life and plan for what lies ahead – perhaps, even thrown a party or two for your friends.However, during the last few days at work, it is only natural for someone in your position to recall the not-so-positive things that had contributed to your frustrating time at work: the seemingly ‘un-pleasable’ boss, his yes-men who keep getting the credit for your hard work, the few pretentious colleagues. You will also begin to feel a rising temptation to take them aside and let loose at them; telling them off for things you felt wronged about, explaining to your boss exactly how you felt about the last performance review and politely telling a few others to go boil their heads while you took off for bigger and better things. Well, you are not going to work with them anymore. What are they going to do about it anyway, right?Perhaps. But then, think again!
The temptation to let off some of the pent up steam when you’re quitting a job generally run high. There are many things people do to vent their frustration when leaving – taking a dig at an irritating co-worker being the most common. Most of them feel their colleagues had it coming, or that the boss deserved to hear the outburst. Perhaps the extreme measure of smashing the office printer, as an expression of how frustrating their life was while working there, might seem justifiable to them, or perhaps, even a stunt which Kevin Spacey pulled off in ‘American Beauty’.
But, however bad or frustrating things may have been at work, it is never a good idea to give anyone or anything at the office a piece of your mind even if you’re moving on.
Reason One: Last impressions do matter: If you are leaving because you’re going on to business school, chances are that you will someday cross paths with the bosses or colleagues of your current company. If that happens, both you and your ex-colleague will ideally want to make a fresh start and work together and not have to remember the face-off you had the last time you two met.
Maintaining relationships matters – at least a neutral one, even if you hate some one’s guts. The colleague you called a pretentious something might someday become your client years down the line.
By going out on a positive note you are doing the mature thing, and it’ll do a lot of good to your reputation as a professional.
Reason Two: In the not-so-distant future, potential employers are bound to ask for references from your previous job. If you leave on a negative note, with a showdown to boot, you instantly undo all the good that you had done at work. Your boss or colleague is likely to remember how you left more than everything else you did over the last few years when filling out those reference requests.
Would you rather be remembered for all the good work you’ve done for the firm, or for how effectively you expressed your frustration and disgust at everyone in the office on your last day (when they were possibly planning to give you a nice sendoff)?
Reason Three: The procedures involved in leaving a job are usually many. Clearances from HR, Finance, Security and IT departments among others are things that may take a lot of time. A lot of companies also have long notice periods as well ranging from one month to six months, depending on the company policy. When you’re heading for higher education, the course will start when it does. Classes in most schools start in September and this is a start date that you cannot negotiate under any circumstances. You might need to get the notice period waived off so you can arrive at school with all formalities completed in time. This includes getting a proof of work experience from your company and most schools will insist that you furnish this document.
The one person who can help you get the notice period waived as well as speed up other clearance processes is your boss! A good word on your behalf to HR can work wonders in getting around things like notice periods and lengthy clearance processes. It is therefore important that you remain positive in your interactions with with your boss.
Reason Four: Smashing some office property for good measure during an extreme showdown might seem like a good idea at the time. Maybe it is the best way for you to vent. But the last thing you need is to be thrown out by security and charges pressed against you by your previous firm for vandalism and destruction of property. The school or firm you’re heading to may not share the emotion you felt at the time.
Reason Five: Finally, to quote Deep Purple, “one man’s meat is another man’s aching butt”. Your colleagues are human too. Be nice!
It is imperative that you understand that your relationship with your colleagues or your boss doesn’t end when you leave the company. It continues in a much reduced capacity, albeit a very important one!
The actual act of dropping the bomb on your colleagues isn’t free of uncertainties either. Keep watching this space for our tips on leaving office on a high, as you head for greener pastures!