CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 28, 2014
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How to Leave Your Job So You Can Come Back One Day

If you feel it’s time to move on to bigger and better things, you might start searching for a new job. But even if you find a new job, there’s no guarantee that things will work out with your new employer. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. So, as a backup plan, it’s important to leave your current employer on good terms -- just in case you want to come back one day.

1. Don’t Mentally Check Out of the Job

If you already have a start date for you new job and you’ve given your current employer your resignation, your mind may already be focused on your new position. Understand, however, that your employer still needs your attention and hard work. So, don’t mentally check out just because you know your days are numbered. Being dedicated to the end shows that you’re a true professional and loyal to the job. Therefore, if you ever need to come back in the future, your employer may consider re-hiring you.

2. Leave When You’re at the Top of Your Game

It might be tempting to jump ship after a bad performance review. But if you leave when you haven’t been doing a great job, your boss won’t have the highest opinion of you. And if you ever want to resume this position in the future, he’ll remember how you needed to improve in certain areas, and he may feel that you can’t handle the job. However, if you stick around, follow your employer’s recommendations and become a top employee before resigning, it’ll be easier to come back if you need to.

3. Stick Around Long Enough to Train Your Replacement

You might be ready to leave, but your employer still needs you. It’ll take time to train a new person for your job. And since other employees have their own set of responsibilities, you’re probably the only person for the job. Even if given the opportunity to start your new job anytime, give your present employer two weeks’ notice, and if possible stick around to fully train your replacement. Also, you can make yourself available via email to answer any questions the new person has for the first week after you leave.

4. Don’t Leave Any Loose Ends

Finish any projects or assignments you’re working on. This makes it easier for the new person to transition into the position and start fresh, and your present employer will appreciate your commitment to the job.

5. Be Gracious During Your Exit Interview

The human resources department may conduct an exit interview before you leave. This is not the time to bash your employer or speak negatively about the company, even if you’re justified. Remember, you don’t know how things will go with your new job. If you burn bridges, you’re pretty much closing the door on any opportunity to come back. Focus on the positives during your exit interview.

6. Give Your Boss a Gift

It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just a token of your appreciation for giving you the opportunity and providing guidance throughout the years. The gift can be as simple as a Starbucks gift card.

7. Stay Connected Online

Stay connected with your boss online through LinkedIn or Google Plus. You can keep up-to-date on what’s happening with your old company. In the future, the company may have a position that interests you. Also, staying connected lets your old employer monitor your growth over the years. If a new position becomes available with the company, he may approach you with the opportunity.

After leaving a job, many people don’t dream of returning. But you don’t know what the future holds. For that matter, never burn a bridge and keep the lines of communication open with past employers.

Photo credit: Flickr

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