Resign in haste and repent at leisure – here are tips on how to resign gracefully.
Everyone leaves a job for a different reason, you might be moving overseas, taking a step up in your career, retiring or worst case scenario, leaving to go to a competitor, whatever the case, learning the art of how to resign gracefully is critical to progress in your career. You may not want to return to the company or even stay within the same industry but here are five tips to keeping an amicable relationship with your boss and work colleagues.
Give adequate notice
Most employers will stipulate how many weeks’ notice you can give, normally four weeks is the standard time. You may be able to come to a different agreement if you negotiate with your employer. However, you should resign gracefully and work out your notice period. Your new employer should understand that you need to give your boss adequate time for you to a proper handover (see below) and find a replacement.
Do a proper handover
A handover is when you have a meeting with the person replacing you or another representative of the company like your manager and explain what work needs to be done, how your work is done and when it needs to be done. Some companies prefer you to return back to the company to train a new employee. You may want to offer to do this training which will hold you in good stead with your current company.
Do not bad mouth the company
Even if you are leaving, resist the temptation to badmouth your boss and other colleagues you don’t like on the way out. You never know who to trust in an organisation and you don’t know if what you are saying is being passed onto other people in the company. If you have a genuine beef with a colleague but they may impact on your future prospects, consider just walking away instead of confronting them directly.
Do not slack off
You may think that when you’re leaving, you won’t have to worry about the consequences and thereby taking the opportunity to move from fifth gear down to first but remember your manager is still likely going to be called upon for a reference (even far into the future). It might also leave a bad taste in the mouth of your soon to be ex-colleagues. Even though you no longer will work with them, they are still a part of your business network and bad news travels fast.
Keep those bridges intact
As satisfying as it may seem to call your boss every name under the sun as you waltz through the door with your cupboard box in hand, don’t burn your bridges. Even if you are moving to a different country or to a totally different industry, your past may catch up with you. Not only does it reek of unprofessionalism, you don’t want to lower yourself to your level. Rise above it and walk out with your head high.
There is a plethora of advice out there on how to write a resume and cover letter, tips on how to interview well and guidance on how to negotiate a salary rise and office politics but no one ever teaches you how to resign gracefully. By acting in a professional manner, you can look at your notice period as an opportunity to maintain a positive rapport with your employer and strengthen the relationship with your current colleagues.