As a Canadian accountant, you may hold approximately 15 different jobs in two or three different fields over the course of your career. Leaving your job is part of the process of finding your dream job, creating balance between your work and home life, and deciding where you fit in. As a result, you may have to leave many jobs before you find the one you ultimately want. Therefore, you need to know how to appropriately quit an accounting job and advance your career without burning bridges.
How To Advance My Career
1. Tell Your Manager First
Let your manager know before anyone else that you are leaving. Hearing about your departure from someone else would be upsetting. If asked to write a resignation letter for legal reasons, keep it short and gracious with an end date and thank you. Ask whether your manager wants to announce your departure or if you should. When colleagues ask about your leaving, share the same optimistic story with everyone. If you contributed well to the organization and may return in the future, depending on your circumstances, let them know. As you specialize in your accounting career, you may be able to come back in a different role and further contribute to the business.
2. Stay Flexible
Remain flexible with your end date. Although two weeks’ notice may be enough, if you are not starting your next role right away, consider offering to stay in your current position longer. Also, the higher up within a company you are, the longer it will take to train someone new. You may want to give a month’s notice then. Avoid offering to stay too long once you have announced your resignation. Your team will have to adjust without you.
3. Manage Your Remaining Time
Carefully manage the rest of your time with the company. Lay the groundwork for your transition. Tie up loose ends. Organize your files to pass to your successor. Work with your manager to create a plan for transitioning your current and new projects. Let clients know you are moving to another accounting opportunity. Walk them through the transition process. Answer any questions or concerns your clients or colleagues may have. Remain respectful to everyone, including your manager, even though you no longer rely on them for a job. Keep the right level of assertiveness – not too much or too little – to keep colleagues on your side.
4. Prepare for the Exit Interview
Get ready to professionally present yourself during the exit interview. How you start and end your job are important parts of a professional relationship. Use sensitivity and planning. Spend as much time preparing for your last impressions as you did your first. Leave on a positive note so that your reputation stays intact. Your employer may serve as a reference for future accounting positions and play a role in determining whether you are extended a job offer.
Advance Your Accounting Career with Mercer Bradley