Dear Flack….I quit

exit sign

Dear Flack,

I just gave my two weeks notice. So, is it uncommon to do absolutely nothing while you are waiting for your two weeks to be done? What is the proper etiquette for quitting a PR job?

Best,

Quitter

Dear Quitter,

You’ve put in your two weeks and I’m sure all you can think about is starting your new job. Screw “the man” right? However, the one thing my mom always says, which I’ve tried to follow throughout my career, is to “never burn bridges.” So, as tempted you are to sit at your desk and add to your impressive doodle collection or surf the web all day, it’s important to realize you are still there for another two weeks. That means the company is still paying you.

No matter your experience at the job, whether it has been positive or negative, it’s important to leave on a good note. Why? Well, you never know who you will run into down the proverbial career path. To help you make a graceful exit, PRBC has pulled together a few pointers to keep in mind:

Clean up your PC – It’s important to delete all your e-mails (received and sent), personal files, and pictures – anything that is of a personal nature and not relevant to company business. That means all those e-mails to your co-workers about potential lunch options and drunken vacation photos – yeah, get rid of those. (e.g. don’t leave a “F**k this place!” memo in a file somewhere).

Back it up – Keeping in mind any non-compete/confidentiality agreements you signed, you should back up any Outlook contacts, press releases you wrote, etc. that you might need down the road.

Tie up loose ends – Put together a recap of what’s been done and what needs to be done for each of your clients/projects. Not only is this the right thing to do for the company, but it will be extremely helpful for the next person taking over. Don’t go out of your way to make their business that much better, but don’t make things a lot harder for them in the process (not that you would do that anyway).

Notifying the clients – More than likely you have formed a bond with some of your clients and you want to say your proper goodbyes. Unfortunately, this is not up to you, it’s up to your superiors. The company should alert the clients of your departure; the news should not come from you, unless otherwise directed. In some cases, companies will refuse to notify the clients at all, and unfortunately if you find yourself in this situation, you will not be able to say your goodbyes.

Checking out – If you can, try to make sure someone from your office who has the authority checks you out before you leave, so that anything they find after you leave can’t be used against you. Turn in your keys, sign any documents needed, etc. This might not be required at your company, but it’s a good idea to do so no matter where you work. You can never be too careful with this kind of stuff.

It’s your turn. Do you have any dos and don’ts for those last two weeks?

____________________________________

Do you have a question for Dear Flack? If there’s something you’ve always wondered about, or wanted to ask about the public relations and social media world, e-mail dearflack@gmail.com . We take privacy very seriously and all names, companies and locations will remain confidential.

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  • Great advice Marie! I would add one side note to “tie up the loose ends.” It's possible that your clients/duties will be diviied throughout the office either permanently or temporarily until someone new can be hired. If this is the case, talk to your manager to see if they have already determined who will be handling what so you can sit down with those people and de-brief them yourself. Your (former) co-workers will thank you for making the transition easier for them and your (former) supervisor will respect your foresight. Also, I would add a final piece of advice – Be available. Be available for questions after you leave the company. I'm not saying that you should continue doing your current job at your new job, but be available for the random question about a client or a specific duty that you performed. Helping your (former) company transition without you will be invaluable to helping you keep those bridges in tact. 🙂

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  • Marie Baker

    Hi Brenda,
    That's great advice as well. Thanks for your input!

  • This is a fabulous, and timely post. I have one question to add, is it 'kosher' to send a note to a client after you leave an agency? Saying it was a pleasure working with you, blah blah??

  • Marie Baker

    Hi CT, only if that client knows of your departure – then it's perfectly find to send them a note.

  • What if they do not know of your departure? In the words of that Beatles man, “Let it Be”?

  • Marie Baker

    Yep, if in the end, your company chooses not to tell the clients, then the Beatles said it best 🙂

  • Or you can come in through the backdoor. You're hopefully connected with your clients on at least LinkedIn. Change your job listing. If they're active users they'll see the change or you can send a note to your contact list a week or so after you've changed…

    “Hi Folks, As many of you know I'm now with ____. My new office is near <landmark/street>. If anyone is in the area and wants to catch lunch just let me know.”

    Not the most direct route but it'll get you were you want to be.

  • Great advice Marie! I would add one side note to “tie up the loose ends.” It's possible that your clients/duties will be diviied throughout the office either permanently or temporarily until someone new can be hired. If this is the case, talk to your manager to see if they have already determined who will be handling what so you can sit down with those people and de-brief them yourself. Your (former) co-workers will thank you for making the transition easier for them and your (former) supervisor will respect your foresight. Also, I would add a final piece of advice – Be available. Be available for questions after you leave the company. I'm not saying that you should continue doing your current job at your new job, but be available for the random question about a client or a specific duty that you performed. Helping your (former) company transition without you will be invaluable to helping you keep those bridges in tact. 🙂

  • Marie Baker

    Hi Brenda,
    That's great advice as well. Thanks for your input!

  • This is a fabulous, and timely post. I have one question to add, is it 'kosher' to send a note to a client after you leave an agency? Saying it was a pleasure working with you, blah blah??

  • Marie Baker

    Hi CT, only if that client knows of your departure – then it's perfectly find to send them a note.

  • What if they do not know of your departure? In the words of that Beatles man, “Let it Be”?

  • Marie Baker

    Yep, if in the end, your company chooses not to tell the clients, then the Beatles said it best 🙂

  • Or you can come in through the backdoor. You're hopefully connected with your clients on at least LinkedIn. Change your job listing. If they're active users they'll see the change or you can send a note to your contact list a week or so after you've changed…

    “Hi Folks, As many of you know I'm now with ____. My new office is near <landmark/street>. If anyone is in the area and wants to catch lunch just let me know.”

    Not the most direct route but it'll get you were you want to be.