After Resignation and during the Notice Period

I had to leave an MNC due to some domestic problems and for the last few years I have been in Hyderabad, at my native place, along with my family. I have taken up a job there. Before leaving the MNC I had to serve the notice period which was for 3 months. Even after the exit interviews I was given a task of briefing and handing over papers properly to my successor and also make out some procedures in supply chain management. I completed the task along with my successor and the management was very happy. This inspired me to write this article.

If you have resigned recently, an understanding of the notice period clause in your employment contract will help you last in the final few days in the organization without attracting any major embarrassment.

Why do companies incorporate a notice period norm in the contract? A clause of certain number of days of notice is included in the appointment letter so that the management can organize a proper replacement of the employee. Arranging a replacement is no such an easy task. Recruitment is a time consuming process and the notice period works as cushion or a buffer against the sudden absence of an employee from work.

Once an employee has resigned, it is not uncommon to find a sudden change in his behaviour. From lower levels of commitment to work and absenteeism without notification to not handing over responsibilities properly, there can be various issues pertaining to employee behaviour at work. It is important to remember that even during the notice period one is bound to the organization and the capacity in which he /she has been working. Employers and employees should part their ways on a happy note.

Attrition is common to all the industries. Employers should understand that former employees also promote their brand image in the job market.  Whether to promote a positive or a negative brand image is completely in their hands. Likewise,the employees should note that their employment was winning bread for them. For the sake of the cream, they cannot abandon the bread in a huff.

Employees should not start treating the notice period as time pass. They should continue to observe the work rules as they did before their resignation.  An employee is asked to leave either due to poor performance or in case the company is not doing too well. In either cases the employees should not lose hope. The worst thing to do would be to get impatient and act foolishly or be uncooperative. The employee must not lose his calm or try to take vengeance against the employer or anybody else in the organization.

In many cases, the present job can serve as a mirror for future employment in the form of referrals. The employee should look for new opportunities and not spoil the future prospects by taking it too personally and not working to his fullest capacity during the notice period. Being a little courteous with the employers can go a long way. They (employers) might actually be of help by being great references. Moreover today’s tactic is never to mess up work relations. Hence, the best rule is to leave in a dignified manner.

Clearly, a notice period serves as a time to look ahead. For optimistic individuals it can turn into a good period for exploring future paths. While serving a notice period, you can keep looking for multiple opportunities so that you can select the best option and offer your services to the best. But do note that this should not be at the expense of pending work at your present company. One must understand that it’s not just about you; it’s the employer who also gets affected by such things.

With the revival in the job market, companies want to hold on to their employees with critical skills and they may be becoming stricter with regard to serving of full notice periods. Notice period negatively impacts an outgoing employee with a good offer but as more firms realize the benefits of honouring notice periods they will also keep positions on hold for deserving candidates. At the end of the day it is important to handle any career and uphold your dignity. The resigned or outgoing employee must keep the following in mind:

Adhere to all procedures, notice period, not taking leave etc. Companies expect you to complete the work at hand and one should not take the employers for granted.

Offer to do a knowledge transfer /  handover on the project and train the successor(s) or team members.

If you choose to use an e-mail to notify your colleagues about the exit, providing your contact information is important as people will remain part of the network. Keep your boss informed of pending issues.  You should use exit interviews judiciously and not be part of any controversy.

Don’t leave without proper papers of relieving even if the organization you are going to join says that it does not matter.  You need not inform everyone that you are leaving; keep only those who matter to you informed.

Keep the desk and work station clean and always organize the drawers and clean it up for your successor.

Never spread negativity amongst the co-workers if you are not satisfied. Be professional and act professionally.

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