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An Exit Interview and My Last Day

by Ryan Guina

As many of you know, I recently resigned from my job and today is my last day. Though I gave my managers a lot of signals that I was unhappy in my current role (even telling them this verbatim), they seemed surprised when I resigned.

A couple days after I resigned, they made me a counter offer, which I rejected. They didn’t seem to understand that throwing more money at me wouldn’t solve the problems I had with my current role in the company. I was more concerned with job satisfaction and professional growth, neither of which I was receiving.

The other day I had my exit interview and the opportunity to tell my managers the “official” reasons I was leaving. The exit review an informal meeting with my manager and his manager in an office setting. It was mostly them talking, me providing a few answers about how the company wasn’t meeting my professional expectations, and I was on my way. I later filled out an electronic questionnaire that gets filed with others to somehow make “meaningful” data, or whatever that means.

The funny thing is that even though my managers were asking me questions, they didn’t seem to be listening. They seemed to want to put words in my mouth and wrap everything up in a neat little box. A couple times during the interview I felt like they were trying to get a rise out of me. I guess it would have made them feel better if someone raised their voice or made a scene. That way the blame would be on me and they could feel better about the whole situation.

Well, I don’t play that way. I’m not in high school anymore and this breakup was purely professional, not emotional. So I held my tongue, tried to change the subject, and thanked them for their time. There is no reason to assign blame and there is no reason to burn bridges. Offer constructive criticism, offer potential solutions, and move on.

That meeting summed up the reasons I was leaving: My managers just weren’t paying attention to their employee’s needs, and I don’t want to work in that type of environment. And I no longer will. Today is my last day.
I worked with a lot of great people there, but I am not sad to be moving on. Change can be good! :)


Published or updated May 31, 2011.
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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt

Yes, change can definitely be good. Reading your post made me think back to jobs I’ve had where the environment wasn’t what I was looking for. I think you made the right choice in leaving.

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2 Ron@TheWisdomJournal

Wow.
I’ve had only one official exit interview and it was more just to turn in my credit card and fill out some COBRA forms.

We do exit interviews via mail where I work now. Funny thing is, those pieces of paper carry more weight than when the employee was working. It makes no sense.

When, when, when will companies learn to listen on the front end?

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3 Ryan

I had a very similar experience at my exit interview a few weeks ago. I just don’t understand why they are so surprised I was leaving when I had been voicing concerns for over a year.

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4 Yan

Congrats! The day will come and I will have my story to tell. ;-)

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5 rocketc

Patric, your experience completely mirrors my own. Interesting.

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6 Ralph

Sounds as though you handled yourself very well and kudos for keeping the ideal that burning bridges serves no real purpose.

In the only exit interview that I have ever had, I was leaving the company to move on to a much position at another company and my manager knew that. So, we basically sat and discussed how nice it would be to advance my career and he was happy for me.

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7 Ryan

Ralph,

I’m glad your situation went well. I felt like my managers wanted to place the blame on me, when in reality, all I wanted to do was enhance my career. I learned a lot from this situation though.

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8 Ryan

Glad to hear you stuck to your guns, Laura. :)

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9 Laura

I now really appreciate what you mean by this article. My managers tried the same tactics, but I’m an adult I wasn’t going to play into their hands.

Great post!

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10 Christa

I recently resigned from a position of which I loved, but it was time for me to move on. After reviewing your post I was reassured that my decision is correct and there are better things out there for us. I have been so happy since I left. I find myself singing while doing laundry, and going shopping for household needs. The thing that I am reminded of the most is that God has a plan for us and who are we to ignore the signs that we are done. And He wants us to move on to better things. Thank you Lord for your many blessings.

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11 Ryan

Glad to hear it has worked out well for you Christa. :-)

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