How to leave a job well

Written by Matthew Jenkin Wednesday 24 August 2022
How you leave a job says as much about a person as how you got the role in the first place. Exit interviews, handover notes, LinkedIn announcements – there’s an art to all of them
A mature woman smiling and holding a cardboard box of belongings as coworkers wave goodbye

When Scott James left a job in marketing to become a project manager at another company in September 2021, he was excited about taking the next step in his career. He never imagined he'd want to return to his old employer six months later. But that’s exactly what happened.

“Although I enjoyed my job, I always wanted to try my hand at project management. So when I was offered a project manager role at a global firm, I was thrilled and knew I had to take it,” the 28-year-old explains. 

Scott says he had been in his previous role since 2017 and over that time had built good relationships with management and colleagues who he kept in contact with after he moved on.

“Despite being sad to leave, I was excited to start a new career. But after the first couple of weeks, I realised that the role wasn't what I hoped for; the culture was much more corporate to what I was used to, and the challenge I was so excited to take on wasn’t really there.”

His old manager had messaged him a couple of times to see how he was getting along and told him the door would always be open should he want to return at some point. Despite being determined to stick with his decision, after weighing up the pros and cons of each role, he bit the bullet and spoke to his old manager about going back. 

He returned in March 2022 with a new-found appreciation for the job, extra skills learned during his brief spell elsewhere and a salary bump too. Most of all, he’s glad he left on good terms with the management team and colleagues.

Keep reading for expert tips on leaving your job well


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