The way you handle your resignation can have a lasting impression on your reputation, yet it’s importance is often overlooked by candidates eager to start their new role. Remember, just because you’re leaving a particular job, you’re not necessarily leaving the industry and people will remember the way you behaved.
Be Aware of Your Current Contract
Your current contract should be clear on the length of your notice period. It is sometimes possible to negotiate a shorter notice period with your old employer – so consider asking if this would help you. Some people like to have time between jobs, whilst others prefer to go straight from one job to another.
Don’t be Hasty
Do not resign from your current employer until you are 100% sure that the role with your next employer is going ahead. It is a very rare occurrence, but offers of employment can fall through.
Speak to Your Boss
While it might seem easier to tell your boss via email, they’ll almost always appreciate hearing it from you in person. Under normal circumstances, and assuming you get on well with your boss, ask to have a few words with them whenever it’s convenient.
Advise them that you wish to leave, give the full notice required or try to negotiate something shorter if required. Ask your manager if they will provide you with a favourable reference in the future. After you’ve verbally handed in your notice, follow it up in writing immediately.
Whilst this may seem like a good time to air any grievances you have had whilst working there, it is best to leave these for the correct setting (the exit interview). Remember, you might need to call upon your boss to give you a reference for your next job, so it’s important to maintain a good relationship with them to maintain your positive and professional reputation.
Write Your Resignation Letter
At approximately one page, it doesn’t need to be long. However, it does need to be set out in the style of a formal letter.
Step 1 – Start the letter by stating the position you’re resigning from and the date of your final day of work.
“Dear [your boss’s name],
Please accept this letter of resignation from my position as [your job title] with [company name]. Per the terms of my contract, my last day of work will be [date of your last day]”
Step 2 – Thank your boss for the opportunity to work for them
“I have really appreciated my [number of years of employment] years at [company name] and the opportunities that it has brought me. I’ve learnt some great skills that I will take with me through my career, and I have really enjoyed having the pleasure of work with some great people”
Step 3 – sign off
In your sign off, you should state your willingness to make this transaction as smooth as you can and give the company your best wishes.
“I will do what I can to help make my leaving as easy as possible for both the company and me. Let me know what you would like me to do in the way of handing over my responsibilities during my final [month, two weeks… whatever your notice period is].
Best wishes to you and all at [company name] in the future.
Honour your Notice Period
Even though you are probably excited to start your new job, whilst you are working your notice it’s important to maintain the standard of work you were producing before your resignation. Keep turning up on time and doing your job to the best of your ability. The way you behave now will be remembered!
Handing over Your Job
Regardless of the size of your team, make sure you carry out a full handover of any outstanding work. Besides the fact that you don’t want to be remembered as the one who left their team in a crisis, it is also important to remember that you never know who you will meet or need throughout your career. Future references, applications or job roles can be aided by someone you have met in a previous role.
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