Last Impressions Count When Leaving a Position

By Harvey Blake, Quality Choice Consultants

If you’ve ever left an insurance office you didn’t like, you’ve probably been tempted, as the song says, to tell your boss to take this job and �. !! but before you tell the boss what you really think of him / her as you tap dance out the door for the last time, you may want to think twice about burning your bridges.

How you leave a company is as important as how you performed your job while you were there. Why should you care about the impression you make if you’re leaving?

“You never know when your path will cross again with that of former co-employee’s or manager’s” says Joe Tontini, Dion Durrell & Assoc-Insurance Consultants-Toronto

One should be mindful of reputation as it follows you through your entire career. “With all the consolidation occurring in the insurance business today, you just may find yourself facing a former boss or colleague who is in a position to make or influence hiring decisions” says Cindy Duncan, Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers -Toronto.

“You will leave with a good impression if you prepare a tactfully worded written letter of resignation” advises David Hackett V.P., Buckley Insurance brokers Richmond Hill.

Regardless of how you have felt about your working environment or your boss, emphasize what you have learned during your time there and express appreciation for the patience and guidance given to you.

It’s simple courtesy to personally let your immediate boss know that you are resigning, So do not just submit your resignation letter to the office.

If your company conducts exit interviews, take advantage of this opportunity. Some employees think that any information gathered at these exit interviews is totally ignored, but that in fact is not usually the case.

Exit interviews are not mandatory on the part of the company, so if your organization is conducting them, management is looking for honest feed-back to try to make the working environment a better place .

If you have a negative feeling about the office and your associates, frame it constructively and offer positive suggestions for change. Rather than say the management are difficult to work for, emphasize that your replacement should be someone with lots of flexibility and patience.

Give it your very best until you leave and continue to work on as if you are not going Anywhere. It’s easy to lose interest but it is essential that you tie up all loose ends and complete unfinished work.

Remember that if you want to use your current employer as a reference now or further down the road, it’s very likely that they will be asked whether you would be considered for re-hiring. You can ensure the answer to that question is a re-sounding “yes” if you carry out your duties to the best of your ability right up to the end.

If a replacement isn’t hired before you leave, offer to be available by phone or e-mail to answer questions that may come up after your departure. Update any procedures manuals that you use and prepare notes on the status of current projects so that someone else can easily pick up where you left off.

If you are leaving in the middle of a crucial project, before a replacement is found. It would do wonders for your reference if you could be available to help train your successor.

Resist the urge to criticize your current employer. Once you’ve given in your resignation, its natural to start noticing all the things that you will not miss. You might even find that some colleagues share their complaints with you because they see you as a safe person but also someone, because you are leaving, whom the management might just be prepared to listen to and make changes.

However, be cautious in what you say about your reasons for leaving. Also, do not brag and disclose where you are going. Keep your departure on an upbeat note. W hen others ask why are you leaving, simply tell them that you are interested in taking on a new challenge.

While it’s said that you never get a second chance to make a good impression , the same can be said about your last impression as you leave a position.

Avoid burning bridges, no matter how tempting it may be to finally tell that annoying associate what you really think of the individual or the current employer.

Keeping your relationships cordial and maintaining your productivity as you leave your employment will ensure that you will be remembered as a true professional.

Harvey Blake – Quality Choice Consultants. The Insurance placement specialist with over 18 years experience in matching the people to positions. Many of these positions are never advertised. Our Clients are many of the top insurance brokerages and companies, as well as risk managers. Visit us at