Leaving a role, what should you do?

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Q:  I have been working for three years in a role where I have begun dreading to come to work.  This is a first for me in 25 years.  The culture where I work is a “gotcha culture” where if you catch someone making a mistake it is celebrated and the person is humiliated.  “Sue, you made a mistake when you shared ABC.  You need to do better.”  This occurs at department meetings.  All of the feedback is given publicly in a very degrading way.  The man I have been working for likes to control everything.  I have accepted a new position and am starting in August.  In the past, when I have resigned, I have always given at least two weeks’ notice.  I really don’t want to stay here any longer than I have to.  My anxiety level is through the roof.  What do you recommend?

A:  I am sorry you are so dissatisfied.  At least the end is near.  After three years, it sounds like you have given this role and organization plenty of time to improve, but it still has not met your expectations.  It is time to move on.

First, begin developing a written transition plan.  Think about who can assume tasks, responsibilities and projects which you are now handling.  There may be some projects which may need to be postponed or deferred to a later date.

Second, compile a list of your most important contacts, both internally and externally.  This list should include name, title, context, email and telephone numbers.  Assuming your employer decides to replace you, this will be helpful to your replacement.

I would give two weeks’ notice but not more.  It sounds like you may need to take some time off to recharge your batteries before you start a new role.  You want to be able to begin a new role with lots of energy and enthusiasm.  You will need time off after you leave your current role.  Think about taking some time to decompress and to spend some time on yourself.  Self-care is important!

By developing a transition plan and leaving it behind, you are being a responsible corporate citizen.  You are making it easy for someone to step into your shoes and assume many of your old responsibilities.  You may also choose to leave your new company contact information in case you want to be available for questions after you have left the company.  Good luck in your new role.  Please take that time off.  It is important to do!

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.

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