For the majority, resigning is an emotional and sometimes difficult business that most people want to get over and done with quickly. However difficult it may be, it is wise to leave your organisation with a crispy clean slate. You can do this by avoiding these mistakes:
– Making things personal: More often than not, a decision to resign is prompted by unhappiness or discontentment with one’s status quo in the office or one’s boss. Whatever may be the case, it is always a mistake to make official matters personal. If your boss is your pain, strive to keep things professional until you resign. And when you do resign, do it with savvy and professionalism. Do not leave the grapevine bubbling with tales of what transpired between you and your boss. Most off all, do not say nasty things about your boss to other employees who are staying behind.
– Quitting without ample notice: No matter how terrible your experience with the organisation is (or was), no excuse is good enough for resigning without giving sufficient notice. Even in the case where you have a tempting offer waiting at short notice, do your best to gain as much time as you can before jumping ship. If you explain to your new employer your reason for insisting on giving notice to your old employer, you will come across as being a professional and a person of integrity. Strive to follow the instructions on how to resign stated in your company handbook.
– Discuss your resignation with your boss first before anyone else gets to know. Etiquette demands that you show courtesy to your boss by informing the person first about your resignation. It is unprofessional to have the news circulating in the office grapevine before your direct boss finds out. Keep your resignation as low key as possible. Plan in advance how you’ll share your news, rehearse if you have to and be sure to communicate your reasons for leaving clearly. Your message should be consistent, don’t tell your colleagues one thing and your boss something else. It is not a bad idea to tell your colleagues the reason for your move because you never know when they will be needful to your personal and career development in the future.
– Shutting down before close of business: It is always very disappointing to witness employees distancing themselves from the company’s business after they put in their notices. Overnight they develop cold feet for the company’s affairs, they act as if rules don’t apply to them, their quality of work depreciates and some even go as far as stealing company property. Anyone else may choose to behave in this manner, but a refined, classy and savvy person knows that the way he/she ends their time in the company is just as important as their track record with the company. Be a professional and maintain the same work ethic you had at the beginning till your last day on the job. Work hard or even harder and do everything in your power to attract only positive attention to yourself. Make sure that you complete any outstanding tasks with the highest standard. Neglecting important work is a wrong way to resign from your job, and it is short-sighted and creates bad feelings. Do it the right way. MKO Abiola, the late politician advised “Do not defecate under a tree that you may take shelter under in the future. The correct resignation etiquette that takes into consideration kindness to other parties and the organisation will contribute to continued success in both your personal and career development.
– Leaving without clearance: Leaving without undergoing the necessary clearance is tantamount to sleeping with your front doors wide open; you make yourself vulnerable. After leaving a company, and someone else takes over from you, if for any reason, there are lapses or weak spots in the portfolio you handed over, it becomes all too easy for you to become the scapegoat. It becomes easy for people to lay blame at your door. When it involves issues like missing property, you may be labelled a thief. In extreme cases, the company may get the police involved and have you arrested, and of course defending yourself will be difficult because no one will believe you. Questions like “why didn’t you clear yourself?” will arise, and you may be hard pressed to come up with a credible defence. Even in the case where the company decides not to involve the police, your reputation may be tarnished for a long time in that organisation. Clearing yourself with the appropriate authorities may be a long and gruelling process, but in the end it will save you a lot of stress. When you resign, ensure that you leave with your head held high with style and dignity. Above all, always bear in mind that the world is much smaller than you know, and you may one day need your old organisation in the future. Be sure to leave with the confidence that you can walk back in and be well received.
Manners when out and about…
At the cinema:
– Put your phone on silent. Take an inner seat if you arrive early.
– Keep quiet and enjoy the performance. Don’t make phone calls, or rattle candy wrappers or crack gum, or whisper. If you are bored. Slide down on your seat and take a short nap, if leaving the room is not on your agenda.
– If for any reason you arrive late, and you are entering a filled row, be sure to proceed down the row facing those already seated. In this way, you don’t doubly inconvenience them by showing them your rear.
– Take your garbage home with you. Do not leave behind food wrappers or drink cans.
– Be careful not to laugh raucously.
– If you have a child with you, keep the little one under control. Do not allow them begin to eat things you have not paid for. Don’t let them run wild, bumping into strangers. Make sure you pick after them; never indulge them in the habit of littering.
At a religious gathering:
– Dress appropriately. Times have changed tremendously; before, certain attires would be considered abominable to be worn to church, but they are allowed now. But this relaxed dress code is no excuse for extremities. The essence of going to a place of worship is to commune with God. Why dress provocatively, in the case of women, and wildly in the case of men, to such a gathering? A truly refined person is one with a sense of self respect and an understanding of the rules of propriety. It does not show much self esteem when you clad yourself in ways that will offend the sensibilities of others. And in case your defence is that: “this is a free world”, kindly note that a house of worship is going into the presence of God. If respect for yourself and others is not enough motivation for decent dressing, let respect for God be your motivation.
– Observe the meeting etiquette on page 67. When in Church, chatting, making phone calls and holding conversations in a solemn worship setting portray you as someone with mixed up priorities. In cases of emergencies you should excuse yourself from your seat and go out to make or take that phone call. No matter what the case may be, never take a call or chat for a prolonged period or hold intense conversations during the church service.
– Don’t come in late to a Church service, and if you must, don’t amble or sashay in a manner that would attract attention. Move briskly and follow the instructions of the ushers.
At a party or occasion…
– Never clamour for food! My father used to advise: “it is always prudent to eat before leaving for any occasion”, and he practised it. Whenever he had to go for a wedding reception or a burial or whatever occasion he was invited to, he would eat to his heart’s content at home, his answer was always: “I don’t tolerate hunger very much, and in the event that somehow they overlook me during food distribution, I don’t want to end up angry with my host.I believe his advice is timeless. Endeavour to have something in your stomach just before you set out for any occasion. Clamouring for food or calling for food will definitely detract from your poise.
– Never clamour for souvenirs: The same principle applies for souvenirs, don’t clamour for it. It is a shameful thing to behold when well dressed men and women trample over each other and quarrel over affordable pieces of household items. If you really like what was distributed at the party, and you did not get any, go to the market to purchase one of your own. It is far better than humiliating yourself by clamouring for gift items.
– Take a worthy gift to occasions: if you must give a gift, give something that would be truly appreciated. It is ironic that most of the really big-sized gifts turn out to be the cheapest.
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