Sticky solutions to your everyday business challenges
Question: I’m feeling guilty about leaving the job I’ve had for the past two years. I made a lot of progress on the projects I’ve been working on, but my relationship with management has been strained. I know it’s time to move on, yet I keep postponing my decision to make the change. Can you give me any advice about how to move on without the guilt?
Answer: Your feelings of guilt about leaving your job are understandable. You’ve poured yourself into the organization and built relationships with people whose lives you’ve impacted (and vice versa). Now, you have a chance to continue to make an impact by leaving with grace and making an honorable exit.
So, don’t burn bridges, but build them. Stay in touch with the people who matter to you, and be their model for learning and growth. You’ll inspire others to rip the band aid off and make difficult decisions for themselves.
There’s never a perfect time to leave, so set your own deadline and stick to it. Concentrate on wrapping up the projects you’re involved in to the best of your ability, documenting your processes, and transitioning your responsibilities to others, where possible.
Finally, don’t be tempted to speak ill of management. You’ll only make yourself look bad in the process. Instead, reflect on why the relationship has been strained, and how you may have added to the tension. Use the opportunity to learn and grow, then part on good terms, guilt-free.