Leaving one company for another is a transition that must be handled carefully. Some of the most successful departures we’ve witnessed have had these characteristics:

  • Communicated as early as possible to the direct supervisor and human resources
  • Focused on the needs of the person leaving AND the company being left
  • Carefully planned to minimize impact
  • Planfully communicated to key stakeholders

For more tips on transitioning well, read this article from Common Good Careers.

Sadly, there are some organizations in which a transparent approach won’t work. Any hint that you’re leaving results in an escorted departure from the building. We hope that this is becoming more rare, and that organizations are able to help people have a good good-bye. After all, this may not really be “good-bye,” but rather “see you later.” That’s why burning bridges on both sides – the employee and the organization – is a very bad idea.

Robbin Phillips, courageous president of Brains on Fire, posted this excerpt from Kind founder, Daniel Lubetsky’s book, Do the Kind Thing:

Our expectation is that team members won’t just give us notice and leave within two weeks. Instead, if a team member feels, for personal or professional reasons, that he or she needs to move on, we hope to have an early and open discussion to explore options. If leaving is the final choice, we work together on a changeover plan to ensure that the team member interviews, hires and trains his or her replacement, while initiating a smooth transition into their next phase of life. If they plan to search for another job, they can start doing so openly while at KIND so long as they don’t neglect their other duties.

We join Robbin in hoping that this respectful, open approach may soon be the norm for leaving an organization. Only then will people be fulfilled in their work and organizations maximally effective.


Wondering how to communicate any kind of transition? We’d love to help.

Photo from Dollar Photo Club.