Exit Process

Emergency Summary
Help I need to step back!
Step 1 Tell your Coordinator.
Step 2 Fill out This Doc to help your team pick up where you left off.
Step 3 Breathe.

We are all volunteers in XR. This comes with some benefits and also some drawbacks. The benefits are clear and include the ability for us to step up when we have time and step back when our circumstances change. We can tailor the time we give to suit our lives, give the things we want to give, and hold back as much as we need for ourselves. There are a lot of aspects to our volunteer structure that are inherently regenerative in nature: after all, we are all crew, we are a family.

However, sometimes we will offer to do things that take much longer than we had expected, or our other responsibilities change after we step up to be a part of a project. There are often conflicting responsibilities for volunteer teams, and this can mean that the team membership changes a lot, or that there are some months where the team just doesn't have the capacity to meet its goals.

We never want to blame our individual volunteers for this. It is not our fault when our situations change. However, we want to make sure that we can change our commitment to XR with the least impact on our teams.

Below are two suggested processes to guide Rebels in stepping back smoothly.

The Gradual Change of Focus

We often step into a team or role in XR to work on a specific project or for a fixed term. As the project or term ends, we may want to change what we are working on or move to another project. We don’t want to leave the role suddenly but we do want to transition our attentions to elsewhere.

  1. Let your Coordinators know you plan to change focus. It is useful to give as much warning as possible if you plan to move from your team, because they can then redistribute tasks in your absence. But also make a firm end date for yourself - it is all too common for there to be that one last thing to clear up and it could take months for a clean separation! Don’t be afraid to leave some things unfinished.
  2. Find your new home! If you don’t already know what you want to dive into next then check out the Volunteer Website. You may have used this when you joined XR but it is also a great way to see where help is needed in different parts of the movement.
  3. Find your replacement if necessary. If your team or project is continuing without you, it would really help if you can help to find someone to replace you. This may mean holding an election for your role or onboarding a new Rebel. Don’t be daunted by finding someone new - we can help!

5 Steps to finding a New Rebel:

  1. Write up a short role/project description.
  2. Ask your integrator or IC to post it on the Volunteer Website.
  3. Once you get a response, reach out to them for a chat, send them the Rebel Starter Pack and give them a run down of the project.
  4. Introduce the new Rebel to your team and let them shadow you for a week or two so then can slowly pick up the role.
  5. Make sure you step back at the date you had planned. If possible, stay in contact with your replacement when they need help but make sure they know that the role is now theirs and they should fly!
  1. Wrap up your loose ends. Take an hour or so to track down the loose ends that you will leave to your team (or teams). This will not only help your team in picking up where you left off but it will also give you a sense of rounding off so that you don’t have to worry while your mind is needed elsewhere.

Consider:

This template loose-ends document may be useful.

  1. Say goodbye to your team. Plan a small social or activity for your team to round off your time with them. We recommend Kumospace to bring larger teams together in a natural mingling way, or an intimate Zoom drinks party. Or you can host an activity, play a game or a gratitude sharing space.

  2. Stay in contact. XR works due to our interconnectivity. In your new role you won’t only bring yourself but you’ll also bring your experience and knowledge of your previous teams. Use it! Make connections, start collaborations and most of all have fun!

The Swift Retreat

Sometimes the need to step back comes quickly and unexpectedly due to family responsibilities, mental health, job applications or many other things. Here is a roadmap for a swift exit which doesn’t leave your team in the lurch.

  1. Let your Coordinators know that you need to step back. Ideally give them a date (end of the week, after the next meeting etc.) but, if you need to go instantly, that is also okay. The important thing is that your team knows to not expect you to continue doing the work you had been.
  2. Compile your loose ends. Take an hour or so to track down the loose ends that you will leave to your team (or teams). This will not only help your team in picking up where you left off but it will also give you a sense of rounding off so that you don’t have to worry while your mind is needed elsewhere.

Consider:

This template loose-ends document may be useful.

  1. Set up auto replies. On your Mattermost or your XR email address set up an auto reply saying that you have stepped back and who to contact instead. This will allow any contacts to connect with your team once you’ve gone. Consider writing a short message in a document that you can copy into your texts or emails if someone contacts you from XR but you cannot set up a generic auto reply for that account. For example:

Hi Rebel,
I’m sorry but I have had to step back from my XR work for the time being. If your question is about X please forward it to rebel1@example.com and if it is about Y then connect to rebel2@example.com.
Love & Rage,
Rebellina

  1. Take a breath. You have now done everything to help your team continue the work without you. Thank you! Take a moment to yourself to reflect on the amazing things you have done with XR and don’t be surprised if a few Rebels reach out in the coming days to say thank you! Come back when you are ready or good luck in the next adventure!

Revision #3
Created 15 March 2021 17:59:00 by raenyah
Updated 28 April 2021 14:31:54 by raenyah