If you’re leaving, you probably have mixed feelings–anxiety, uncertainty, and alarm ride alongside excitement, relief, and pure joy. You’ve weighed up the pros and cons. You’ve made plans.
Euphoria aside, it’s time for action. Ask yourself:
1) What do I need to complete before I leave?
2) What are my immediate responsibilities?
3) What are my long-term responsibilities?
Consult your employment contract to answer these questions correctly.
While a toxic work environment may have contributed to your decision, you are still responsible for your actions and attitude. To maintain your reputation, leave with a clear conscience. Don’t let others question your professionalism because of apathy or resentment.
Leave blame and shame behind
When you work in a toxic environment, it’s easy to get sucked in. Your resignation means you’ve taken a stand against counterproductive behaviour. Ignore what you can’t change and concentrate on leaving behind the best work you can produce.
Emphasise your professionalism
Start with your current tasks. Figure out how to explain requirements to whoever takes over. Keep detailed but simple notes explaining particular decisions, and what works well. Document aspects which have been challenging too. A truly useful handover document is both precise and succinct.
If you work in a team, brief them. Although a document is a good reference, consider showing winning results or techniques via a presentation. Transparency and accountability are key. Outline and assess problems, but offer solutions too.
Go through your contract and appointment letter line by line. There are things you do automatically, but there may be others you forgot about. Some tasks originally allocated to you may now be redundant. What should you address?
Remember, it’s not all bad
While this job may not have been the best experience for you, reflect on your learning. When we are in survival mode, it’s easy to create false dichotomies and get stuck on them. Do you polarise experiences? Few experiences are all good, or all bad.
As you start a new and exciting chapter, get closure on the current. Fulfil your duties and obligations. This is not about proving your worth to anyone else, but is illustrative of your character. Do it for you. Leave a worthwhile legacy.