On the job: A graceful exit

When you’re changing jobs, finding the right company and environment is only half the battle of wisely managing your career.

Making a graceful exit from your current job is also supremely important, says Joseph Grenny, president of Vital Smarts, an executive leadership training company in Utah.

First, he advises against any inclination you might have to set your boss straight about his or her faults. Whatever you’ve tried so far hasn’t worked, and the situation is not going to get better as you leave. You’ll only stir resentment by doing so. The same advice applies to co-workers.

Changing jobs is not an excuse to slack off in the position you’re leaving. Maintain the same level of professionalism that has taken you to this point in your career. That will help you get strong job references.

When speaking with prospective employers, talking about your current boss requires a delicate balance to avoid sugarcoating a strained relationship on the one hand, and bad-mouthing someone on the other. Grenny advises job seekers to be candid about not seeing eye-to-eye with a boss, but without getting into the details of disagreements.

Grenny recommends setting up an exit interview with someone from human resources to explain your reasons for leaving.