Na Na Na Na. Hey, Hey. Goodbye. – Leaving Your Job Without Burning Bridges

Leaving Without Burning Bridges In today’s economy, leaving your job may seem reckless and ill-advised. But, when life presents you with a new and exciting opportunity, sometimes saying goodbye is a better decision for your future.

Leaving the security of your job is always a scary thing, so make sure you have properly analyzed – and are prepared for – every possible outcome. You never know when your path will cross again with your employer’s. Someday, you might need a good reference or you might even bump into each other at an industry conference. So, it’s always best to leave on good terms.

Whether you’re making a career change or life has thrown you a curveball, here are a few guidelines to help you say goodbye without burning bridges.

Use Discretion.
When you’ve arrived at your decision to leave, you may want to compile a list of colleagues that you want to break the news to. The person at the top of that list should be your direct supervisor. Having your manager hear of your departure from office gossip is the last thing you want. After informing your boss, begin telling others on your list if you want the news to become public.

Talk Face to Face.
Make every effort possible to inform your boss of your intentions face to face. An e-mail or telephone conversation is only appropriate when geographical location prevents an in-person meeting.

Be Professional.
When discussing your departure, be prepared to give your reason for leaving. Although you aren’t required to do so, it is the courteous choice. It can be as simple as, “I’ve found a new opportunity to advance in my career,” or “I’ve found something that better fits my talents and desires.” Keep in mind, this is not the time to point the finger or vent frustrations.

Account for Curveballs.
During your meeting with your supervisor, they might offer a raise or promotion. Chances are, you didn’t take your decision to leave lightly and you’ll stick to your choice, but take the possibility of another offer into consideration. That said, do not leverage your departure as a threat for a pay increase. This will not be appreciated and will most likely backfire.

Give Proper Notice.
The standard time for notification when you are leaving a job is two weeks. But for some jobs, as much as six weeks can be required. Check your employee handbook to see if there are any guidelines to follow. If there aren’t, try to give your supervisor an advanced notice of at least two weeks.

Write a Resignation Letter.
A formal letter of resignation should include the date of your last day of employment, reason for leaving (keep it professional), and a thank you for the opportunity to work for the company. Also, include you willingness to help with the transition period, whether it is training the new employee or making a list of your job duties. You may not be asked to, but the act of offering demonstrates, even in the end, your loyalty and character.

Leave on a Good Note.
Be professional and diligently work up until the last day you’ve agreed upon. On your final day, write thank you cards to your supervisor and your co-workers. You’re respectfulness can create a great final impression – one that’s as important as your first impression.

Even if you’ve struggled with the dilemma of leaving your job, you made the decision to go, so don’t burn bridges in your departure. Make sure things are in order before you say goodbye.

Have you experienced a former co-worker leaving on a sour note? How have you made clean breaks in the past? Post your stories in the comment section below.

Organizing and Maintaining Your Workspace

Organizing Your Workspace - 2 In the previous blog, you learned why it’s important to have an organized desk instead of a messy one. Cleaning up your act is well worth the effort, and can even give your career a boost.

Taking the time and effort to reorganize your workspace can help you find specific items quickly, rather than having to dig through piles to find something you need. Also, your productivity will increase because there will be less visual distractions, leaving you more time to focus on your work.

Here are a few quick tips to get your cleanup started.

Necessary Items.

  • Keep only your essential, frequently-used items on your desk. Your computer, telephone, inbox, stapler, note pad, and other items of that nature can be considered as essential. If you regularly use a printer or fax, keep those within reach.

Organization Method.

  • Determine how you want things to be organized. Do you want to file documents in a folder or binder? Do you want items color coded or labeled? Each person has their own style of filing, so make sure you find the style or system that works best for you – Stacks of paper on the left and more stacks of paper on the right doesn’t count as organization.

Throw Out Old Materials.

  • Don’t hoard old files that you haven’t used in years. Discard or shred these old materials to clear up space. Remember to double check files, such as financial records, before you toss them. Items like tax papers need to be kept for seven years.

Manage Your System.

  • Create a system of organization that is sustainable. It would be a wasted effort to de-clutter your space if it can’t preserve its cleanliness. Make sure your system is simple enough and adapted to your work style.

Keep It Clean.

  • Tidy up before you leave each day. Make sure things are in order to ensure you can get off to a fast start when you arrive the next morning. Doing so will also help you maintain your area. People are a little more reluctant to tackle daunting tasks, but tidying up every day will prevent messes from growing too large and overwhelming.

Methods for de-cluttering are as countless as the benefits of having a neat work area. Being organized and in control can display your efficiency and consistency as a worker – which can help your career in the long run.

What systems work best for you? How do you keep your system of organization from failing? Let us know your tricks in the comment section below.

How Does Your Messy Desk Portray You?

Organizing Your Workspace - 1 Though you can’t fully judge a person’s quality of work by glancing at their work area, most people can make an assumption.

There is a preconception that organization equals efficiency. When you see a clean workspace, you can’t help but think that the worker is productive and gets their work done.

On the other hand, disorganization can produce a greater negative impact than the positivity of tidiness. Even if your desk is inadvertently messy, a cluttered workspace can make others think that you’re lazy, stressed, disorganized, and maybe even irresponsible. If it’s perceived that you can’t function in an organized environment or keep your workspace organized, chances are you will also be viewed as incompetent to some degree – reducing your chances of career advancement.

Avoid giving off a negative impression and jeopardizing opportunities for a promotion by keeping a messy work station. Tune into our upcoming blog about how to clean up your workspace and keep it that way.

Staying Awake in the Workplace: Tips to Help Your Productivity When You’re Tired at Work

Awake At WorkStaying awake and alert at work not only helps with your productivity, but of course keeps your professional image intact. The simplest way to maintain consciousness is to do your work. But, that can be easier said than done if you’ve lost sleep due to a crying baby, family emergency, illness, stress, or other circumstances.

Here are a few tidbits to keep your brain alert so you can successfully make it through the workday after a long night.

Get some sunlight. Your body’s internal clock is regulated by exposure to ample light. If you don’t work near windows, surround yourself with bright lights – like an extra lamp – to stay more alert. Take your lunch break outside, or even just breaks outside when weather permits.

Don’t get too full. Avoid a heavy lunch and a full stomach. A big meal can induce a sleep spell that is hard to overcome. Instead, snack on healthy foods with plenty of protein to give you a boost of energy that will help you get through the day. Avoid snacks that are high in sugar because they can only keep you energized for about half an hour. The empty calories will cause your body to crash halfway through your workday, and falling asleep will be harder to fight off given that you’re already tired. Stick to snacks such as apples, sunflower seeds, whole wheat crackers, raisins, cheese, and nuts.

Get up and exercise. It is recommended that you get up and stretch for every hour that you sit at your desk. Being physical can perk you up and get blood flowing to your extremities, – helping invigorate you at the same time. If you’re able to, take a quick walk outside. The natural environment can awaken your senses, as well as get you that much needed sunlight. Check this past blog for other ideas to stay active at the workplace.

Limit the caffeine. Caffeine can go a long way if you consume it correctly. Spread it out slowly throughout the day to avoid any counterproductive side effects. A cup of coffee or tea can help energize you, but limit yourself to four to eight cups (300 mg of caffeine a day) or you will feel the inevitable crash.

If you feel your eyes glazing over, remember these quick tips to help you make it through the day. However, keep in mind you can have all the tips and tricks to stay awake, but nothing beats a good night’s rest.

Putting Together a Work Wardrobe

Work WardrobeAn investment in a professional wardrobe is an investment in your career and your future. A well put-together wardrobe not only helps garner respect and credibility in the workplace, but it also boosts your confidence. When you dress professionally, you’ll be viewed in a more positive light, feel more professional, and be more productive.

While a nice wardrobe isn’t always cheap to put together, keeping these few tips in mind can help you strategically build a stylish, yet professional, wardrobe while spending your dollars wisely.

Keep it Classic. While you may be tempted to purchase the latest fashion trends, these items generally cost more and go out of style quicker. Stick to classic styles that will last season after season, such as a simple black suit. With classics, you can always update your look by adding an accessory, such as a new tie or scarf, or mixing and matching with other pieces.

Stick to Neutral Colors. When purchasing foundation pieces – slacks, skirts, and suits for example – avoid loud colors and patterns. Neutral colors, such as blacks, browns, and tans, mix and match much easier, and allows you to wear the item over and over again.

Make Quality Purchases. The pieces in your wardrobe will be worn many times, so don’t skimp on quality. If you opt for less expensive clothes, you might end up spending more in the long run by replacing worn-out clothing. Determine if the item’s fabric will stand up to the wear of repeated use. This doesn’t mean you have to spend $1,200 on a designer suit, but choosing a stronger fabric will allow you to wear it longer. Even if you pay a few more dollars for a suit, the price per wear will be less expensive as you wear it over time.

Know What You Want.  Before you head to the store, figure out what you want or need to complete your wardrobe. This will help you avoid impulsive purchases. Having your clothes organized at home can help you identify the missing pieces in your wardrobe and help you buy items that will complement or complete an outfit. This will also help you avoid buying something you don’t need or something that won’t go with what you currently own.

Unless you have an unlimited budget, a work wardrobe isn’t something you can put together overnight. However, by making good choices, you can gradually build a professional, yet cost effective, wardrobe you can wear long term.

How Does Your Attitude Portray You?

Attitude at WorkMuch like a first impression, your workplace attitude can leave a long-term image in others’ minds. Your attitude at work can create a reflects not only on you but also on the work that you do. And, it’s not easy to shake a bad reputation, if you’re known to complain, be arrogant, act lazy, or slack off.

Your attitude can play a large part in determining how your colleagues feel about you as a co-worker. So, make sure you have the right attitude to be seen as a productive member of your team.

Negativity in the workplace only breeds more negativity. It’s never too late for an attitude adjustment. Workers with positive attitudes are a joy to be around. They can be relied upon during important situations and don’t bad mouth the company or co-workers. People with can-do attitudes regularly produce good work because they realize that their thumbprints are on all that they do. So, no matter what the situation, look at it with a positive light. It will go a long way in reflecting the image you want to portray. Check out our five tips to start your day on a positive note. A positive attitude can help you become a worker people look forward to working with. And if you’re a joy to work with, everyone will be happier and more productive.

What image are you portraying at work? Do others with a bad attitude make your job a pain? How does attitude affect your work life?