Thank you, thanks, appreciation, job search, leaving a job
Thank you notes matter. Even when leaving a job.
For most people, they leave a company because they’ve accepted work at another employer; for others, they are either let go, laid off, or perhaps, the company goes under.
No matter what, as part of your exit process, you should always write a thank you letter to your employer before you leave.
No, I’m not crazy.
Always remember that while the company may continue on, a boss or manager might not. So providing a final departing note that summarizes your positive contributions to the company while thanking them for the experience of working at that business has staying power.
This note will go into your official personnel file, and can provide positive reinforcement of your performance or your character long after your boss or anyone else with first-hand experience of your work there leaves the company.
There are ways to play your departure that can help put a positive spin on your departure, no matter the circumstances:
1) You are fired. “This was a difficult decision and I understand that this company was not receiving what it needed in order to achieve its goals. I do want to thank you for providing an important lesson on how I can improve my own performance levels, and truly appreciate the opportunity to have worked for such an esteemed company.”
2) Your boss is a schmuck. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to grow within my position as much as it would allow, and want to extend my appreciation to all of my co-workers and peers who helped me to achieve new levels of professionalism. “
3) You are laid off. “Tough company transitions make for tough decisions, and I understand the need to make mission-critical course corrections. As a team member, it has been a privilege to work with such a great team, and I wish you continued success in the future.”
4) You find other employment. “As much as I have enjoyed working here and relished the rewards of being a part of a team featuring such an esteemed group of peers, I have accepted employment at another company. I want to thank you for all of the amazing experiences and projects that we have worked on, and hope that at some point in the future, our paths will cross again.”
5) You decide it isn’t a good fit after a short employment stint. “Thank you for the opportunity to work at this company. However, after much gut-wrenching evaluation, I have decided that this is not a great fit. Your company deserves someone who can deliver 100% and is committed to achieving the goals, and I am not making that grade. This has been a very difficult decision to make, but I feel that your company deserves the best to get you to where you need to be.”
These are just some examples, but by putting closure to your employment with a positive spin, it shows responsibility, maturity, proactive learning, and most importantly, class.
Class has a much longer shelf life than crass or crudeness (as much as you really would like to tell them to take this job and shove it!).
But you don’t ever want to be untruthful in these thank you notes. But by being mature and admitting mistakes, showing that you are the better person.
You can show that you are learning from any misjudgments, demonstrate genuine feeling for the time you have spent there, or sympathize with difficult company decisions.
And that’s the stuff that goes into a personnel file and is the final say you have in your employment there at that company.
And quite possibly, the first thing that anyone might see if they go back to open up that file for references.
Thanks Jon Ashcroft for the photo via flickr
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