North Central Business Journal
LEAVING A JOB
(May 2002 issue)
by Sandra Kay Neal, Ph.D.
(Synergistic Organizational Solutions has relocated to Centralia, Washington.
As a result, this is the last article Dr. Neal wrote for North Central
Most people change
jobs about every five years. The reasons for the change are varied;
some leave to get a job which is more challenging, some leave to get a
job with better remuneration, some leave to reduce stress and tension.
But regardless of the reason, people who are leaving a job need to do a
few things to make the transition smoother.
The person who
is leaving has probably been thinking about doing so for quite a while.
First, they toyed with the idea, then they decided to test the waters to
see if there were other jobs available. When they finally choose
a new job, the idea of leaving is no longer new. But it is very new
to colleagues and employees. The first reaction of colleagues and
employees to an announcement of a manager’s leaving is usually surprise,
often followed by grief and fear.
superiors are told first. They may be worried about finding a replacement,
and the amount of time the person gives before leaving can go a long way
toward helping the company have the opportunity to do a thorough search
for a replacement. That will reduce the fears of the manager’s superiors.
The people who
work for that manager may feel frightened about what the future will hold
– will the new boss be difficult to work for? – will the new boss
appreciate my work? – will the new boss change my job duties?
These fears are rational fears connected to unknown change. The departing
boss can help his/her employees by encouraging them to look at their fears.
Articulating fears usually reduces their impact.
Some people assume
that the time between the announcement of departure and the actual exit
is wasted time. That is not accurate. That time allows the
other people in the company to get used to the change and to work through
their grief at losing a major part of their lives. The interim time
also allows the departing manager to get things organized so that his/her
successor can step in easily.
The interim time
also provides an opportunity for the departing manager to say goodbye to
everyone in the company, as well as clients and business colleagues.
This goodbye time should not be overlooked. Some people feel uncomfortable
about saying goodbye and prefer to exit without saying it. This temptation
should be resisted. People need closure, and saying goodbye provides
it. Saying goodbye also allows the departing manager to say nice
things that they have thought but never stated. People need to hear
that they have been appreciated and valued, and the goodbye offers an opportunity
to say that.
advice, I need to say goodbye to all my readers. I have enjoyed hearing
from you these past three years. I have appreciated knowing that
the advice has been useful. I am relocating my business to Washington
State at the end of August for family reasons. I will still be available
via email if I can be of help to people in Ohio. The website will
remain the same – http://www.sos-hr.com. Instructions for emailing
me will be found there.
want to thank the two editors of North Central Business Journal with whom
I have worked these past three years. Ryan and Marc have been wonderful.
A special word to Marc – you have done wonders with this publication.
Thanks for your great gifts.
Neal holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and has 25 years
experience helping organizations solve human resource issues.
Her Centralia, Washington-based company, Synergistic Organizational Solutions,
specializes in aiding small businesses. Dr. Neal can be reached at