“How Do I Deal With the Guilt of Leaving My Job?”
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“How Do I Deal With the Guilt of Leaving My Job?”

Welcome to Ask a Girlboss! It's our weekly advice column where real experts answer your burning career questions. Have a dilemma that needs solving? DM us on Instagram and we'll get right on it.

"I got a new job, but how do I deal with the guilt of leaving my employer and team understaffed?"

The expert: Melissa Daimler is an HR expert, Silicon Valley veteran and chief learning officer at Udemy. Here's her advice. 

Leaving a job with integrity does not have to include guilt. Your manager and organization will figure out how to manage your departure--it won't be their first time doing so and won't be their last. Try to let go of your guilt and focus your energy instead on ensuring your manager has everything they need to know and do when you are no longer there. Here are three things to do before you go:

If possible, provide at least two weeks' notice to your manager before leaving the organization. You can also make yourself available to them if they have any questions that come up later. Provide your manager and team members with any documentation, contacts, and open projects/issues that will need attention and follow through before you go. A nice one-pager that has links to this information is a bonus.

Recommend ways to parse out your work to other team members and/or prioritize some of the work you are doing. Could some of it be sequenced or deprioritized to a later time?

As part of your exit interview [and if your company doesn't normally do them, ask for one], provide feedback on what it might have taken to get you to stay so the company can learn from you. Share insights about the culture, providing constructive information to help the organization with engagement and retention. As we know, it's a small world out there, so leaving a job in good standing is important. You may work with your manager or some of your team again one day.

Good luck with your new job!

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