I’m leaving my job. I would have loved to stay but my manager refuses to listen to my input. I see what’s wrong and think I have good solutions but I’m tired of banging my head against the wall. I’d like to help my teammates that remain and want to make my case both in my exit interview and in an email. My team is split on whether this is a good idea. What do you think? – S.D., East Hanover, NJ
Congratulations on your new job! I’m glad you took action to find a better fit for yourself.
While your desire to help others is admirable, in this case I think your good intentions are misplaced. Always ask yourself, “Whose problem is this to solve?” In this case, it isn’t yours. Your teammates are all choosing to stay in that environment. I doubt they’ve asked you to “fix” things—especially now that they know you’re moving on. And if they have, they’re misguided.
Isn’t it possible that your manager knows something you don’t and isn’t able or chooses not to share? Or that your premise about what is “wrong” isn’t shared by management? Or that you don’t have enough perspective at this point to weigh in? High achievers are usually highly confident in their ability to solve problems—and they see everything as their problem to solve.
Regardless of whether your advice is relevant, think about how you’ll be seen if you do what you suggest. If you share during your exit interview, you’re sharing with someone who has no way of evaluating whether your content is valuable. It’s likely your input will be shared verbatim with management and if you’ve already shared it, you’ll sound like a broken record. Or they’ll think you’re unable to take feedback from your manager and are trying to go around him/her. And sending an email is completely inappropriate. What is the point? It won’t solve the problem and will instead reflect poorly on you.
Focus on your new position. Listen and fully understand situations before you offer solutions. Keep yourself from expanding the scope of your job by always asking yourself, “Whose problem is it to solve?”