Job Transition Tips

Don't burn bridges
Don't burn bridges

You never know where your next referral may come from. Also, your former partners may want to learn more about your decision to leave and prove to become valued contacts in the future.

When to announce
When to announce

Wait to inform your firm until after you've received a signed agreement. Plan ahead for the next conversations. Be prepared when asked, "Why are you leaving?" and be comfortable articulating your reasons. Discuss with a trusted advocate how you should announce your departure to the rest of the group.

Informing your staff
Informing your staff

Inform your staff only after you've informed the key partners of your decision. If possible, try to inform them as a team. And when you do, be encouraging, brief, factual and thankful for their support and dedication.

Stay positive
Stay positive

Give positive reasons for announcing. Focus on the new opportunity, or greater autonomy, or chance to advance your practice. Avoid sharing negative reasons for your decision and never make the discussion about compensation.

Be proactive
Be proactive

When you do make your announcement, you'll want to have your ducks in a row. Work closely with your advocate to prepare for the most important key steps. The more prepared you are at this stage, the more likely your transition will be smooth and successful.

Appropriate follow up
Appropriate follow up

Sending personal notes or emails following interview meetings is always recommended and viewed by most as a thoughtful gesture. People appreciate and remember these small gestures.

Stay committed
Stay committed

Stay focused on your reasons for making your decision. Be careful not to fall into the discussion of, "What would it take to keep you from leaving?" Move forward with your new plan and thank your partners for their continued support.

Your resignation letter
Your resignation letter

Keep your announcements short, simple and concise. The best letters are more about being thankful for the opportunity to work with your colleagues, while reminding everyone that friendships continue. Include your new contact information and anticipated first date of starting your new opportunity. Most importantly, discuss your decision with the appropriate partners before sending any emails regarding your announcement.

The negotiation
The negotiation

Counter offers seldom work for either party. In the long term, most partners who have moved recommend staying the course and focus your energy and effort on the new opportunity.

The transition
The transition

Go above and beyond to make the transition as smooth as possible, but don't delay your decision. Speak with your advocate regarding your transition details.

Exit interviews
Exit interviews

Treat your exit interview like your hiring interview. Emphasize that you are leaving for an opportunity and keep conversations encouraging to help those left behind.

Be prepared
Be prepared

Make a checklist of everything you will need before you announce your resignation. Unfortunately, some firms will immediately escort resigning partners out of the building, blocking access to files or valued client information.

Express Appreciation
Express Appreciation

Thank your partners for the experience and opportunity you had with the firm. Again, maintain relationships and an open door with the firm you're leaving in the event you decide to call on them in the future.