This time of year is often a time for reflection. If the Christmas break has made you take a closer look at your professional ambitions you may have decided that 2022 will be a time to welcome new opportunities.
Should this be the case, you are likely to need to hand in your notice at your current employer.
The way you resign can leave a lasting impression on your future career opportunities, so it’s important that you do so with grace, respect, and dignity. Leaving a job is an emotional experience. You may experience relief, sadness, or excitement to name but a few. However, your resignation is often dictated by procedure; a good thing as it needs to be done so professionally and unclouded by any emotion you may feel.
If you are wanting to leave your job on the best possible terms, here are some tips on how to resign well.
How to resign well.
Go straight to your manager.
When it comes to handing in your notice, your manager should be the first to hear, and it should come from you. It may be tempting to tell your colleagues your exciting news, but you need to make sure office gossip doesn’t beat you to it.
If face-to-face isn’t an option for you, then you ought to schedule the next best thing and opt for a virtual meeting. As a last resort, you could consider using the phone or email, however, these are the least desirable options.
Have a plan.
Even if this is a genuine opportunity for career progression and there are no hard feelings, resigning is awkward. It really helps if you go into the meeting with a plan. You should try to have a response to some of the possible outcomes. For example, if your boss was to make you a counter-offer, what would you say? What if you are asked to reconsider? Or how about if you get an emotional response?
Try to have a plan for all the various scenarios your resignation could throw up.
Put your resignation in writing.
Even if you have given a verbal resignation, it is good practice to put your resignation in writing too. A letter leaves no grey areas over the date you resigned and, the length of your notice period, and when you expect your last day to be.
Your resignation letter should be brief and include
The date you expect your last working day to be. Check your employment contract for the notice period you are obligated to work. If you are in a senior role, or you know you have a large deadline looming (and your new employer agrees), you may wish to offer to stay longer.
A brief explanation of why you are resigning. This doesn’t need to be specific – especially if your grievances were personal. To say something like “I have accepted a position at another company” is perfectly acceptable. You don’t need to go into great detail, and it’s OK to keep your explanation vague.
A few words of thanks and acknowledgment. This isn’t mandatory, but you may like to extend any thanks as you leave in your letter. For example, “Thank you for the opportunity and support” would be sufficient.
End on a high.
It’s tempting after you have handed in your resignation to take your foot off the pedal and coast through your final weeks. However, your final days, weeks, or months are not a time to tune out. In fact, quite the opposite.
For more advice on how to conduct yourself throughout your notice period, read our recent blog to make sure you leave on a high.
To resign well requires professionalism and respect. Even if your experience at an organisation has been less than enjoyable or positive, it’s still necessary to behave with integrity. The professional world is small so it’s important that you preserve professional relationships. A great attitude will leave doors open to you…you never know when or where that next great opportunity will crop up.