Brainfood: Your route to the top - Leaving on a high

Be gracious. Thank people and focus on the good memories rather than using your departure as an excuse to let off steam about everything that annoys you - however tempting that might be. Don't burn your bridges.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Don't take it personally. People react in different ways to someone who's leaving. Some will feel they can talk to you more openly now, while others will dismiss you as no longer relevant. Be ready to respond to their different reactions sensitively.

Reflect on what you have learned. Consider what skills and insights you can take with you to help in your new venture.

Spend time with people. Your colleague today could be your client tomorrow, or even your boss at some time in the future.

Keep your professional pride. Give a full and clear handover of your work. Your reputation is still being made long after you've left the organisation.

Be consistent. Your reasons for leaving and the story you share for your future plans should be the same for everyone.

Be balanced when discussing your future. Bright enough so that people understand why you are leaving, but not so glorious that they might feel rejected.

Have a clear succession plan. Minimise kickback from your boss as a result of the team losing a key figure or a colleague losing a mentor.

Remember that things will change. Recognise that your replacement will almost certainly do things differently. You probably would too if you were taking up where someone else had left off, so don't let it bother you.

Stay in touch. Yesterday's colleagues are tomorrow's network. And who knows, you may even want to go back one day - obviously into a much more senior role.

The Mind Gym: wake your mind up is published by Time Warner (£12.99),

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