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Before You Quit, Be Transparent and Talk to Your Manager
published by , on 09/03/2015

In this series, professionals share all the right — and wrong — ways to leave a job. Follow the stories here, and write your own (please include #IQuit somewhere in the body of your post).

I have told my employees that I don’t expect them to stay on board forever. I raise my children saying that in every aspect of their life they should discover the world and explore their options instead of settling too soon. I expect the same of my co-workers. So I know that when I hire someone, they will move on after a few years.

That is no major issue. We know we help each other. I use the talents, work and ideas of my employees while they use the chances I offer them to learn, grow and get paid. There’s no reason at all to pretend that isn’t the case. So if at some point either of us feels the relationship isn’t balanced anymore, let’s be open about that too.

As a boss, I have always valued being open, honest, and correct. Even if I wanted to, there’s not much you can hide in a small business like mine. So I embrace transparency to the full extent. Another huge challenge for very small companies is replacement. Unfortunately we can’t afford to hire more people than needed. So if someones quits abruptly, there is no back up at all. Being open and discuss your wishes timely is the only way to avoid uncomfortable situations instead of creating them.

So the advice I give to my employees, my children and everybody else who wants to listen is this: Talk. If you are the employee considering a change, talk to your employer. If you are the employer considering letting the employee go, talk too.

Sure, chances are the other party will try to convince you, see if there’s something that can be done. Maybe all it takes is a raise, a change in job description or a transfer to a different team. But if you simply can’t work things out together, talk about it like the adults you are. That gives you the possibility to agree on the timing, on the communication toward the rest of the team, on how to find and train a replacement — and it avoids burning bridges by leaving your coworkers hanging.

Do you think full transparency makes things easier, or are you afraid it might lead to being sidetracked? And have you experienced either?

Reactions (1)
  • Ylvie Slenders says:

    I think you are completely right about the fact that it is okay for people to leave a company. Especially for young people, fresh out of college. They need to explore and learn before settling.

    Regarding the question you asked in the end: I never experienced either but I agree with the idea that full transparency makes things easier. You know where you stand and what is expected from you.

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