The weeks prior to your official departure from your company can be stressful, emotional, and busy. No matter how well in advance you’ve planned your resignation, it’s inevitable that you’ll come across challenges that you’ll need to solve before you go.
Why is it important to handle challenges when you’re leaving anyway?
While you’re busy ticking items off your to-do list, it’s important that you don’t slow down just because you’re leaving. Resigning with a good impression - and consequently, maintaining your work relationships - is beneficial for your career, so work at the same pace until your final day.
What would you do when you came across challenges in the past? It’s simple: you think of a solution. The additional challenge here is that you’ve got a deadline, and the last thing you want to do is leave your colleagues with another task. Do you best to solve the problem on your own within the timeframe you’ve got, and only delegate to your colleagues if you cannot.
It’s important to remain professional even when you plan to leave
A good attitude can make a big difference. Consider carefully what is being demanded of you in order to resolve the challenge. This is not the time to complain and air your grievances in response; resigning professionally requires the same amount of care and consideration that you would have given if you were to remain in your job.
However, it’s not just about coming up with a solution to this new difficulty; it’s also completing the workload you already have. Can you do it on your own? Do you require additional resources? How much time would you require? Be careful that this does not prevent you from completing your existing tasks, but if it does, consider discussing this with your boss so they are kept up-to-date, particularly if you don’t have a lot of time left, and the issue will continue once you have left.
Common challenges people face during their resignation
You’re uncomfortable sharing your reason for resigning
Whether you’ve got some curious colleagues, or your boss wants to know why you’ve decided to quit, remember that you are under no obligation to share if you don’t want to. This even extends to legal protections; here in Japan, the law is clear that you do not need to justify your resignation.
People want to know about your new job
Similarly, you are under no obligation to share your plans once you’ve left the company. In fact, it may be beneficial for you not to, depending on your relationship with the people you work with, and if your boss has taken your resignation personally. Again, the law is clear that you do not need to share this information if you don’t want to.
Your boss has asked for constructive feedback… but you’re uncomfortable providing it
This is not uncommon. More companies are getting into the habit of organising structured exit interviews, and this isn’t an unusual request. If you feel confident that you will not burn any bridges by providing feedback, it may be beneficial for your boss, your company, or your team. However, whether or not you provide this information should be dependent on your relationships within the company. The business world in Japan can be quite small, and you don’t want to damage your relationships or your reputation. In this case, use your best judgement, and if unsure, err on the side of caution.