Change is one of the greatest constants in everyone’s life at some point or the other, and your professional life is no exception. According to a recent research, the average person today will change their jobs 10 to 15 times during their career, and many workers spend less than five years on average at one job. You would have seen various colleagues come and go, and you’re beginning to think that it might just be your turn.

Whether it is because you don’t like your current job, have found better prospects, or are just looking for a change, exiting an organisation is something that is likely to happen to you and almost every employee at least a few times in your careers. While you might be tempted to do otherwise, it is always a better idea of leave on a gracefully and on a positive note. Here are six tips to guide you through your onward journey as you exit a workplace.

Be clear on your reasons: There could be any number of complicated reasons that mixed together to create the impulse in you to want to leave. You want to follow that impulse and get out of your workplace. But shouldn’t you have clarity in your head as to why you want that change? Is it boredom? Annoying work? A bad boss? It is imperative that you spend some time reflecting upon this choice, as it is one that will have an impact upon your career. Whether it is simple and singular, or a complex intersection of factors, make sure that you spend time with yourself introspecting as to what your reasons are. These can inform you about your future choices and opportunities so you know what to look for in your future employment.

Be ready for the exit interview: Once you have communicated the intent to leave a company, its HR department is likely to insist upon an exit interview. These are taken with a view to understand your reasons for leaving, and to get feedback upon the company’s processes and systems and how you felt about them.
While it might seem like a redundant exercise, professional courtesy requires that you take this interview seriously and prepare for it. You might be instrumental in making things better for the company and your soon-to-be-ex colleagues, which is never a bad thing. Further, it exhibits that you are co-operating with the company and reduces the chances of last-minute conflicts with the HR department in collecting your final dues and making a clean exit.

Get a good reference: All offices, workplaces, and jobs have some good and bad characteristics. You are leaving the company for your own reasons, and some of that might have to do with the negative aspects of your workplace and job. However, it is important to remember the good and bury the bad while exiting a company.
Your bosses and peers are important in gaining references for future employment, and leaving on a positive note ensures that there’s no bad blood and no reason for them not to give you the glowing recommendation that you hopefully deserve.

Finishing the paperwork: Companies make exiting employees get assurances from different operational departments to certify that the employee does not have any of its assets, or has returned them. From company laptops and backpacks to borrowing books from the office library, this process ensures a complete truncation of the relationship between the employee and the company. While it might seem like an exhausting exercise, this helps to ensure that you will have no trouble in getting your full-and-final settlement. So make the effort and get all the boxes ticked on that form!

Leaving on a positive note: Even if your time at the present job has been an absolute pain, there is really no reason to leave on anything but a good note. Some of the people you have met and interacted with at work might end up being in a position of authority later on in your career. Even if that seems unlikely, the world is small and complicated enough that leaving a company on a negative note will come back to harm you in the future, as most recruiters are looking for team players.
Focus on the future and the positive aspects of your workplace and colleagues, while recognising that this is the end of the story and there’s no need to carry any more baggage. Keep a smile on your face while you look forward to what is to come.

The most important advice that can be given isn’t a tip, yet is somehow more relevant. Be happy! You are leaving for new endeavours and finding better shores to land on. Let go of your negative emotions, get through the exit process and know that once you walk out of the door, you’ll never have to come back again.

(The writer is chief executive officer and co-founder, Aasaanjobs)