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Article Teaser: Deciding to change jobs was the easy part. Telling you boss and going through the exit interviews are difficult, and you need to be prepared. So you have decided to leave the company and turned in you paperwork to your manager after much thought and introspection. What you need to prepare for are the next three to four exit interview sessions.

Keep reading below...

Be Prepared for Your Exit Interview

Copyright (c) 2006-2017

Deciding to change jobs was the easy part. Telling you boss and going through the exit interviews are difficult, and you need to be prepared. So you have decided to leave the company and turned in you paperwork to your manager after much thought and introspection. What you need to prepare for are the next three to four exit interview sessions. This process is similar to buying a new car and getting bounced from one person to the next; they try to counteroffer and talk you out of leaving all the while trying to wear you down. It is always fascinating to me how companies can come up with extra $$$ when you tell them you"(tm)re leaving. Trust me on getting ready. You need to be prepared or you will wake up tomorrow and go back to your same position, in the same company, and will soon be just as miserable as you were when you decided to leave the first time. There are three areas of planning for the exit interview process that you need to prepare for.

Step 1. Prepare a notification letter that you will give to your manager. There are two subjects to cover in your letter: planned exit date and brief explanation on why you are leaving. The question on *why* you are leaving will be asked several times. It is better to put your thoughts in writing so you can refer to them later. In your explanation, be succinct and straightforward in a positive manner. Do not single out any person or event that could turn against you and be the sole focus of discussion that may eventually turn into an emotional confrontation. Be firm in you convictions and refer to your letter for guidance. Refer to professional growth, demonstrated company stability, communication, and work environment, you now the reasons. Put them in writing. After you complete the letter, have a trusted peer or family member read it back to you for critique and comment. Plan for staying the customary two weeks. This is the professional approach and allows time for management to try and back fill and cross train as appropriate.

Step 2. Realize when you turn in your letter the psychological game begins. Be prepared with a counter offer when asked. I say, "shoot for the moon," because if they say yes, you do not want to have any regrets. The people you speak with will try to negotiate and talk you out of leaving. Be prepared for this and firm in your decision to resign. Common questions you will be asked besides why are

  • "What company are you going to?" My response would simply include comments such as, "The company name is not important for our discussion and not any of your concern." There is no reason for you to disclose this information to them, other than giving them an opportunity to degrade that company and convince you going there is a poor choice.
  • "What would it take to keep you here?" Counter with,"What are you offering?" You know what you want because you are prepared, but do not disclose that information first; let them offer you something. Think before you open your mouth!
  • "Why haven't you discussed improvements for the company before? Maybe we can implement some of your ideas." Bla bla bla. I say that in my opinion the company should be doing these improvement activities anyway; why are they waiting for a person that is leaving to jump into action? Don't buy into this strategy; you have been around long enough to see what the priorities are and what actually changes from a leadership team perspective. If the company were on top of their initiative, you would have already seen activities for improvement.
  • "Have you thought about what this will do to your pension and retirement?" Often the comment is, "If you stay for xx years, your pension will double or triple by the age of 55. Think about all the money you are losing." Stop and think, I don"(tm)t have that money now, how can I lose it? Again, you have researched the POTENTIAL impact to your pension and retirement when you were preparing to leave. I say potential because these people you are talking to have no more of an idea that the company will be profitable let alone still be operating in 5 to 15 years than you do. This will probably come from the human resource manager and will be the last straw in trying to tell you what a poor decision it is to leave.

    All in all, you should spend no more than 5 minutes with each person you speak with after your initial discussion with your manager. The reason I say this is, you can be assured they have spoken to their management and HR about your desire to leave and been coached on counter offers, discussion points, etc. Realize that anything they have to offer will be/should be of no interest to you. Be professional and polite to a point; they are only trying to get you to stay. What can you do? Take the initiative when speaking to each subsequent person by asking, "What do you want to know that is not in my letter?" This is a great tactic to see if they have even read it. If not, that should also tell you a lot.

    In summary, leaving a position is going to be emotional. Think through your decision completely; discuss with your trusted peers, family and friends. Consider the options and above all be prepared for the exit interview barrage. You can do it. Go with your instincts as well because you don't want to wake up with any regrets!


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Kent Jacobson, a.k.a. "Mr. Success" is a trusted authority in the success field and provides valuable success information for free through his website at: http://www.Shortcut2Success.com . You can also read Kent's Success Blog to find more success secrets at: http://www.Shortcut2Success.com/blog

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    Internal ID: #4022
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