Being a Graceful Winner When You Have a Job Hunt Victory

We are a house divided when it comes to professional football — my daughter and I are Green Bay Packers fans, while my husband and son are avowed supporters of the Chicago Bears. So there was just a bit of smack talk prior to the Packers-Bears matchup this past Monday night.

Even though my husband was happy with the outcome of the game, he refrained from gloating. After all, he reasoned, why make those who didn’t win feel worse than they already do? (Plus, he wanted to set a good example for our kids — sibling bickering about football is never pretty.)

Being a Graceful Winner When You Have a Job Hunt VictoryHandling yourself with dignity is also important after you have scored a new job. You are going to run into various personalities at your soon-to-be former employer:

  • Those who are happy for you.
  • Those who are jealous because a) you are escaping a toxic work environment, or b) you received an offer from a highly desirable employer.
  • Those who will purposely try to sabotage you by pulling you down or raising doubts in your mind about how good your career move is.

It’s not hard to interact with the well-wishers. They are genuinely excited about your new opportunity, so it’s OK for you to gush a little about the upcoming change with them. (Don’t go over the top with your enthusiasm, of course, but being happy about your move is fine.)

But coworkers who are resentful or who actively try to undermine you can make it difficult to leave an employer on good terms. How can you rise above it all during your last two weeks on the job?

  1. Remember that this period of discomfort is mercifully short. It’s just two weeks. 10 short business days. You can keep it together for that long, right? After all, you are going on to bigger and better things.
  2. Vent after hours. Spouses/significant others/trusted friends from your circle of support are all great for providing a release if there is some jerk who just keeps pressing all your buttons. Just make sure that you talk in a private place. You don’t want word getting back about how you may be talking about your current employer and its employees.
  3. Stay away from the water cooler. You really will have a lot to do with wrapping up loose ends and otherwise preparing to hand your work off to someone else. Keep yourself busy and don’t get sucked into gossipy conversations that could trip you up.
  4. Keep in mind what may be motivating people’s comments. If there is someone at work who is also trying to find a new position, s/he might not be your biggest supporter. In fact, some unexpected negative comments about your new opportunity might be the reaction. Be gentle with this person, and don’t have your new job be the sole topic of conversation.

Even if you are thrilled to be leaving, you don’t need to make that sentiment the final memory of you. Work diligently up to the end and don’t let the haters get to you so you can exit with style and grace.

Image courtesy of Todd Huffman

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