Leaving A Startup On Good Terms

I received an email from someone asking me to touch upon this subject. The startup space is small and close-knit. Which is why leaving startups isn’t an easy subject to discuss publicly.

I don’t have much experience leaving startups to join other startups, but I do have some helpful advice about leaving on good terms.

1) Give enough time to transition in the best way possible. Standard time is two weeks. If you had a lot on your plate two weeks may not be enough. Help via phone or email until everything necessary is passed along.

2) If you are leaving a team high and dry, help them by assisting in finding your replacement. It’s a small gesture, but it can make the transition process much easier.

3) No matter what reasons you have for leaving, never bad-mouth the company privately or publicly. Wish them the best. Startups are hard, They don’t need an ex-employee running around saying bad things about them.

4) For a certain amount of time after, people are going to reach out to you about your former company. It may be about deals, it may be something else. Make sure you always pass those things on to the appropriate people. You obviously don’t have to, but if you want to maintain a good relationship with the team and help the company/individual asking to get connected to them, you should make the introduction.

5) Stay friends with the people there. You never know where you or they will be in five years.

These aren’t sure-fire ways to leave on good terms, but they are definitely a good start.

Any other suggestions for people looking to leave a startup on good terms?

This post was originally published on February 7th, 2013 on my personal blog, Alex’s Tech Thoughts.

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