18th Aug 2023
3 Min Read

Consciously uncoupling: Why good goodbyes matter

People & Change

Let’s not pretend. Nobody stays in the same job for life anymore. Well, hardly anyone. For most of us, our career journeys are winding and varied, with some employers getting us for a long tenure, and others a pit stop.

And while there are many factors that determine how long we stay put, one thing’s certain: when someone decides to leave, the way we say goodbye to them is just as important as how we welcome them.

You can rarely change a colleague’s mind about leaving, but making their departure a positive process is important. Why? One word: Glassdoor.

Thanks to the global job review platform, the concept of rating and recommending (or not!) a former workplace is now part of the employment landscape. Your organisation’s reputation is constantly under the microscope, particularly from potential new hires – and they want to know what it’s really like to work for you, beyond the slick recruitment video.

One of the best indicators of that is the opinion of former employees who’ve been there, done it and handed back their branded t-shirt.

At scarlettabbott, we’re proud to have celebrated many long service anniversaries with our team-mates (and rewarded them for it). But, of course, people also leave us to pursue new opportunities.

One such colleague is project delivery manager Alice Lockwood, who’s about to embark on a new step in her career. I caught up with her before she logs out for the last time to ask about her SA experience.

How did you get started at SA?

My background isn’t in employee engagement. I’d worked in the translation industry for over five years but decided to put the project management skills I’d honed in that industry to use in a new one. So, just over 18 months ago, I stepped through the Chapel’s doors for the first time.

We’re measuring in months, Alice! Leaving so soon?

Did I ever imagine it would be as short lived as it has been? No. That I’d be another statistic? Definitely not. Alas, as a millennial, apparently, I’m more likely than any other generation to change job.

That being said, it’s important to recognise the reasons for doing so as it’s not always black and white. It started with a niggling feeling, the notion that at the end of every day there was something missing. More than six months went by, and I realised that same feeling was still lingering.

How about a change of direction within scarlettabbott?

During monthly meetings with my manager to discuss my performance, goals and how I was feeling, I floated the idea of branching out and doing some work with the content team – a little ‘job crafting’ (the concept of redesigning your role to increase job satisfaction). The business was really proactive in helping make this a reality, but, unfortunately, it didn’t give me the enjoyment I’d hoped for.

Was it something we said? 🙁

The main reasons people leave their job is things like a toxic company culture, low pay or poor line management: my reasons didn’t align to these at all.

The scarlettabbott culture is unique (in a wholly good way), I don’t feel under-rewarded, my manager is a phenomenal leader (shout out to you, Lyds), my work-life balance isn’t cause for concern and flexible remote working is the norm. In some ways, I wish there had been a more glaringly obvious issue as it would have helped solidify my decision-making process. In the end, I had to admit that it just wasn’t the right fit for me, and, ultimately, you’re doing your employer, your colleagues and yourself a disservice if you’re not fully invested in the job at hand.

Ok, it’s not us, it’s you …

Yes, it really is, and I’m now at peace with the fact that that’s ok. The great thing is that everyone at scarlettabbott has been really understanding. They've made me feel valued by exploring what might make me want to stay, but, when I explained my reasons for going, they reassured me that following my instincts and trying something new is the right thing to do.

Will we at least see you again?

Absolutely! I’ve already been invited to a team social later in the year. We might not be colleagues any longer, but we’ll still be pals.

PhewThank you for everything you’ve brought to the team, Alice – from diligent project management to delicious Betty’s treats (we’ll miss them almost as much as you). We can’t wait to hear about your next adventure.

A better goodbye

Want to make the notice period more noteworthy? Check out our tips for creating an optimal offboarding experience.

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