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  • Writer's pictureDavid Manes

Why is an Employee Exit Strategy a Good Idea?

An employee exit strategy helps an employee navigate the sometimes-troubled waters of leaving a job. The strategy depends on the employee’s unique circumstances. In some cases, employees have perceived discrimination, retaliation, or another illegal employment action. Sometimes, an employee simply wants to resign to seek out new opportunities.

Why is an Employee Exit Strategy a Good Idea?

When considering your options, an exit strategy allows you to leave and protect your interests. For best results, a lawyer analyzes your situation and advises you on the best exit strategies available to you.

Tips for a Successful Exit Strategy

To have a successful exit strategy, you need to know what options are available to you. This will be a quick overview, but it could never replace the focused understanding of a knowledgeable attorney.

1. Know Your Rights.

You may realize that you have received the bad end of some employment action, whether you were looked over for a promotion or you suspect discrimination. That’s when you need to know your rights. Employment law protects employees.

When you deal with illegal employment action, you need to take steps to complain within the company, either to HR or your supervisor. Sometimes the problem can be corrected. Otherwise, you’ll need to file a claim with the correct government agency.

business women in a meeting

This type of situation is much more complex so read more about discrimination and your employee rights.

2. Work Relationships are Important.

Don’t spring your resignation on your supervisor or boss. When you have a meeting scheduled with your boss, it can be helpful to give them a head’s up that you plan on resigning. For some, this might be a quick email before the scheduled meeting. For others, it might be a conversation in an empty break room.

No matter how bad or good your experience was with a company, you should stay positive and be friendly with your coworkers. In the future, their reference might be the difference between a job offer or not.

3. Help with the Work Transition

No one knows your job like you do, at least most of the time. When you leave abruptly, it can leave a gap that is difficult to fill appropriately. Soften this transition for your employer by providing options such as writing out a manual about your role or agreeing to be on call for a few months to answer questions.

Another way to help with transition is to be strategic in when you choose to leave the company. Sometimes, your employer may ask you if you can stay to help train your replacement. Although two weeks notice is accepted, you may want to adjust your notice time to your position.

Leaving well can benefit your future just as much as a new job can. Therefore, it’s important to treat everyone well. This is not the time to threaten coworkers or provide your bosses with a comprehensive list of their screw-ups.

4. Thank Your Employer and Coworkers.

No matter how complicated your relationship was with your soon-to-be-former job, take the time to thank your boss and coworkers. Be genuine. Tell them honestly what you appreciated in this opportunity, professionally and personally.

Keep your communications positive as you discuss your departure from the company. No one likes a whiner, and too much whining could impact your career.

suited man holding notebook paper asking, "Need a lawyer?"

5. Finish Well.

When you’re closing out your old job, work hard to complete your projects or hand them off with all necessary information. You don’t want to appear to have already checked out when you’re still clocking in. Be present.

Return all your work items to your employer. When you keep company equipment, this is considered stealing. Be sure to return everything to the best of your knowledge and double check with the administration to ensure that everything has been returned.

After your final day at your old job comes to a close, do not post on social media about all your feelings. Certain posts on social media can cause you to lose your job. Yes, it’s true. Be smart about what you share online.

Chat with an attorney: (412) 626-5626 or

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