“I will come to know when my time’s up; and when it is, I will exit gracefully. I will not hang around till I am kicked out” – Samantha Akkineni
The Final Decision
When people decide to quit, they think they’ll just update their resume and start networking. If you’d like to make a career change, think about all the necessary steps. Are you ready to break free of the corporate control and start your own? After realizing the need to move on to fulfil your dreams in the banking world, some bank staff will want to leave and move on. This article is to help ensure that you have a smooth work transition and a calm exit from the office. Before you give notice, ask yourself these final questions:
- Am I spiritually prepared for this decision?
- Do I have the support of my family and friends?
- Do I have enough savings to cover nine to 12 months of expenses?
- Am I willing and able to forego all the monthly allowances, free medicals, insurance and even retirement contributions?
- How might I cut expenses or earn income while in between jobs?
- Have I timed this appropriately?
Big Entrepreneurship Dreams?
If you want to own your own business, want the freedom, responsibility and rewards that go along with being an entrepreneur, then brace yourself. Without adequate preparation, training and pre-trials before you exit, you will meet many hurdles that you never dreamt of. Think long and hard about the type of business you want to run. Get started on the weekends and in your spare time; and once you’ve got some proof that the idea is viable, it’s time to break the news. Talk to your boss and tell them about your entrepreneurial visions.
Give Adequate Notice
If you have an employment contract that states how much notice you should give, abide by it. For some executive positions, you may need a couple of months to hand over due to the nature of your job. In many cases, one month or even two weeks is enough notice for you to hand over properly.
Have you thought about your next job?
Figure out your strengths and how you can leverage them. It is not about the job titles and ‘dream-companies’. It is about whether you have the appropriate skills-set and experience. If you discover you are lacking in an area, plan out how you will develop your skills. You may need to pursue more education or start positioning yourself for the next job while in your current one. Also, think about the industry or company you hope to move to in relation to your timeline. Are your goals realistic, or might your dreams of landing a job at a global brand be an impossibility?
Document your Exit Plan
Sometimes the hardest part of quitting your job is often the simplest: telling your current employer that you plan to leave. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes not. Depending on the type of boss, you can discuss your exit with him or her. If your boss has not been the supportive type and feel you are a threat, then it is not worth soliciting any inputs or advice. However, ensure you remain cordial and friendly since you may need his or her reference in future.
Effective Handing Over
In executing your exit plan, take note of the following in your handing over notes:
- Examine your job description and ask yourself whether you have been able to meet your bank’s aims and objectives. List all your activities and include any grey areas in the JD that requires clarification for the next in command to follow up.
- List all outstanding projects and persons that should be responsible for them, their target dates and expected results.
- Complete specific tasks that need to be done before exiting your organisation.
- Include all administrative work as well as process flows and regulations that need to be followed through. Ensure clear lines of reporting and escalation of issues are also noted down.
Handing over should be seamless. Institutional memory is key in corporate institutions. Your boss will be pleased that you were not selfish, and the person you hand over to will remember you for leaving clear work systems in place. You could be a consultant in future…you never know.
Archiving Relevant Material
All bank documents are the property of the bank. Remember the oath of secrecy you took. When most people leave their companies, they lose access to everything work-related: emails, documents, servers, professional development materials, and more. Make sure that you set aside enough time to archive everything that’s important to you. You can create a Dropbox account and save material that may help you in your professional development.
Ensure they do not contain sensitive material that affects customers or private banking documents. You can dedicate some time just to go through your emails. Personal ones can be sent to your personal mail. Look at your passwords—you need to update all accounts that are linked to your work email address and re-direct them.
The Exit Interview
Regardless of whether your company requires one or not, it is good to have an exit interview with your manager or the HR. In many cases, it is the Human Resource Manager who calls for an exit interview. This is not the time to vent out everything you hate about the office. While an exit interview is a good opportunity for you to give constructive feedback about your office, it can also be an opportunity to hear any feedback your boss has for you as you leave the workplace. Sometimes they can even give you guidelines on your new areas and continue to support you. With some managers, however, it is good riddance.
Leave a good legacy
Keep the ideals you learnt on the job. They are intrinsic and should brand you. It is similar to old students of schools living their old school’s brand. Just as the school’s values should brand you, your former organisation’s values should also brand you.
Keep in Touch and continue networking!
Don’t forget to keep in touch with people after you leave the office. I worked at my last organisation for fourteen years and my last day was spent moving from office to office collecting personal contacts and emails. My former Managing Director was very supportive and encouraged me in my dream to be a consultant and author. Five years on, I am on good relations with her as well as my former managers and office colleagues – some of whom have been instrumental as referrals in my new role as a trainer. Remember, it is a small world.
Moving Forward After Quitting
Quitting your job is never easy. Emotions will almost always be high, and even if you have something else lined up or a good business in place, the fear of the unknown can be brutal. Stay positive — the worst-case scenario almost never happens; and remember, you’re leaving for a reason. Even if things get temporarily more difficult, I promise they won’t stay that way forever.
Plan a Vacation
You may not be able to take a trip for financial or logistical reasons, but I would really encourage you to think about taking at least a few days off – even if to do nothing but relax and gather your thoughts before getting ready for your new phase in life.
I hope these steps will be useful. It is not easy, and not always about money, but once you follow your passion it will eventually be fulfilling. Good luck!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alberta Quarcoopome is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, and CEO of ALKAN Business Consult Ltd. She is the Author of two books: “The 21st Century Bank Teller: A Strategic Partner” and “My Front Desk Experience: A Young Banker’s Story”. She uses her experience and practical case studies for training young bankers in operational risk management, sales, customer service, banking operations and fraud.