Don’t leave your professionalism at the door when you walk out of it.
We are all taught that we have to act professionally in the workplace regardless of the circumstances. This is great advice but not everybody follows it. How do you respond when things aren’t going your way? Are you cool, calm and collected or do you run around with no thoughts to consequence?
Your behaviour becomes even more important when exiting a job, whether you’re a permanent employee venturing onto your next challenge or you’re a professional contractor who is effectively running your own business.
However, contractors change assignments much more regularly than permanent employees do (extreme job hoppers excluded) and I think if you’re a contractor it's even more vital that you exit gracefully, regardless of whether you had the best experience or the worst.
Here are my 3 reasons why:
1. Reference for your next job
This one kind of speaks for itself but surprisingly it’s not something people think about it. You’ve heard the saying that you’re ‘only as good as your last game’, well that goes for professional contractors too. Your next potential work assignment will probably want to know how it went at your previous one and having to scrap that reference because of your direct actions won’t look good.
Remember that people are people and you won’t always get along with everyone you work with perfectly every time. Personal differences happen and that’s just life but you should always be the bigger person and leave on good terms as the majority of New Zealand employers will request a reference from your most recent employer.
2. You’re representing your personal brand and possibly an agency
New Zealand is small and Auckland is even smaller. Word can easily get around that you might be difficult to work with (even if you’re not) and this can severely diminish your next contract opportunities.
Even if you did a solid job while you were there, people always remember the more negative aspects and if you exit in a not-so-professional manner, that’s what would stick in their mind.
Keeping your nose clean despite what unfolds in an assignment is key and you will be grateful for your actions when you bump into an ex-colleague at a new employer (we see this happen all the time).
If you’re contracting through an agency, you’re in an even easier position to quit. Leave it up to them to have that difficult conversation while you simply smile and professionally wave your goodbye. This will help ensure that the agency jumps at the chance to give you your next assignment.
3. You will feel better about the assignment and yourself
Not every contract you will pick up in your career will go as smoothly as you want it to. That’s just the nature of this particular beast.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps because an undertaking didn’t go exactly as planned you will definitely be compounding the problem by not behaving at a high standard when leaving. If you’re unsure how to resign with grace, check out this blog from Greg Savage.
You want to be able to look back on a difficult road and know that you behaved in the best possible way. Then you can move forward onto your next gig with a Cheshire cat grin on your face.
That’s my 3 main reasons but I’m sure there are much more. At the end of the day, leaving on a great note only come with benefits for you and your career.
Are you looking to spice up your career with variety and try your hand at contracting? Contact us now to get some guidance!