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Top 5 Tips - How to exit like a champion

Published: 4 years ago

Whilst having a coffee with a CPO last week I was yet again reminded of the importance of exiting your current role with class when moving on to a new career opportunity.  The man in question had left an organisation after 10 years to join a new business as Head of Procurement in a related sector.  To cut a long story short his new employer was subsequently acquired by his old group within the first 12 months and he found himself back in the same board room! Luckily his legacy was positive and the transition was smooth – here are my top tips to help you achieve the same.

TIP 1 – Don’t run down your old employer/CPO whilst you are working out your notice

Tempting as it may be to share horror stories with your colleagues (or let years of frustrations out) you will be respected by everyone if you remain a positive influence.   I am sure you have issues with your current management team or company culture (hence why you are leaving) but chances are that your experience and development at this current employer has helped make you an attractive prospect for your new role.   Appreciate this and exit with class and remain an advocate for your previous employer after you leave the building.

TIP 2- Provide a brilliant handover

Reputations are built on legacy and the ongoing success of your last employer will only be a compliment to you and your CV.  Don’t just handover the basics but handover the knowledge on strategic suppliers, key stakeholder preferences and category history. Try and provide a succession plan, download all of your thoughts and knowledge into a concise useable document and set your old team up for success. 

TIP 3 – Thank everyone who helped you

Not by generic email or phone call! Actually go to the desk of everyone who has been a support to you in your role and shake their hand, exchange hugs and wish them well.  Pass on your mobile details in case they have questions or need your help after you have left.  For those that have gone above and beyond write a LinkedIn recommendation that will leave an indelible positive stamp on their online profiles.

TIP 4 – The Exit Interview

Be present and authentic in the exit interview and constructively contribute to discussions.  This is not a forum to settle old scores or make personal attacks.  Help your previous employer be a better employer in the future and help set your colleagues up for success through detailed and action orientated feedback.   Always leave the door open to a return and never burn bridges.

TIP 5 – Thank your referees

Senior referees are amongst you’re most important contacts. If busy senior executives have given up 30-40 minutes of their time to provide references to your new employer then be sure to thank them sincerely and inform them of your successful new appointment.