Your boss is a push factor for your resignation, but don’t open Pandora’s box at your exit interview. Sasha Gonzales asked two career experts in Singapore for tips on how to leave with finesse.
Don’t bring up your real reason for leaving
Focus on the pull factors of your new job rather than the push factors from within the organisation — that is, your boss, says Paul Heng, executive coach at Next Corporate Coaching Services in Singapore. Keep the conversation positive and professional.
“Personal reasons” is a good thing to say
“If you don’t have a new job lined up, just say that you are leaving for personal reasons, for example, you’re planning a break or will be looking after your aged parents,” advises Paul.
“It’s time for me to move on” is also a great excuse
This is one of the most diplomatic reasons to state, says Cheng Chee Seng, principal therapist at Life Transitions in Singapore. The company might have been planning to promote or transfer you, and if they know you’re up for a new challenge, they might ask you to stay.
Don’t act like a sore loser
Your exit interview is not the time to ask HR why your boss overlooked you for that promotion. “Management has their reasons, but this is not the time to make them tell you what they are,” Chee Seng says. “They’ll just think you’re bitter.”
Don’t be a back-stabber
Control the urge to sabotage your boss during the exit interview, because no one likes a tattletale.. “Besides, you’re probably going to need a character reference from your employer,” Chee Seng adds. That said, you shouldn’t act like a victim either.
Don’t bitch about your boss
Colleagues will want to know why you’re leaving, but don’t tell them that your boss is the reason.
Show your appreciation
On your last day, remember to say goodbye to everyone you’ve worked with, including your boss. “You never know when your boss might invite you back, so it’s important to come across as professional, right up until your last day,” says Paul.
Make your boss feel really, really good
After you’ve left, send a hamper to your boss with a simple Thank You note, says Chee Seng. Everyone in the office will see it. Hypocrisy? No, diplomacy. “You’ve just turned the tables on her and it shows you have class,” he says.
This article was first published in Simply Her July 2012.