Resigning from a job is hard no matter what your reason for moving on is.
It’s a small world, as tempting as it may be, once you have decided to leave, this is not the time to air your grievances, don’t burn your bridges and resign in a way that could haunt your career for years to come.
Employers rely heavily on professional recommendations during the hiring process. So, go out of your way to build bridges and leave on good terms with your boss and colleagues.
REMEMBER: don’t do anything until you have your new job offer in writing and you’re happy with the contract!
- PUT IT IN WRITING:
It’s important to follow the correct channels and write a formal letter of resignation. Keep the letter short and above all, positive. Include:
- Dear [Manager name]
- Notify them of your intention to resign from your current position [outline what your current position is]
- Refer to your contract and how many weeks’ notice you will be working, as well as your last day of work for the company, if known
- Highlight why you have enjoyed working for the company and wish them the best for the future
- Thank your line manager for their support
- Politely sign off
- SET UP A MEETING WITH YOUR MANAGER TO HAND YOUR RESIGNATION LETTER IN: explain you are requesting the meeting to discuss your future with the company, to give them some level of warning and eliminate the element of surprise.
At the meeting:
- Keep it formal and unemotional.
- Avoid being too honest about any negative reasons for leaving. Less is definitely more! Keep your reasons for leaving positive and share your vision for the future.
- Let them know that you have enjoyed working with them, even if this is not the case.
- Explain you are happy to work your notice period and agree when your last day will be.
- If you are intending to write an operational manual for your replacement, extend and olive branch and let them know.
- Depending on your role, you may be asked to leave immediately and be put on gardening leave. If that happens, then enjoy your payed time off!
- GO THE EXTRA MILE: write an operating manual for your replacement so they have a guide that will fast-track their adjustment and on-boarding to the role.
If possible, offer to be on call to your replacement for a few months to help answer any questions they may have.
Going to lengths to personally ensure a smooth transition for your replacement could pay dividends in the future. It’s a small world, you can bump into anyone again.
- ON YOUR LAST DAY: it doesn’t matter how excited you are about leaving a company, it’s smart for your future to leave generously.
Send an email to your manager and colleagues, for example: “thank you, it’s been a fantastic experience both personally and professionally working with you all. I wish you all the very best and hope to keep in touch.”
It goes a long way and can keep the door open for collaboration in the future. Make an effort to keep in touch and maintain the positive relationships you have worked so hard to create. Who knows what the future may hold?