Leaving a job can be hard, challenging, and simply awkward. It’s one of those things in our lives that we would rather not have to do, but how we react within this state of discomfort is what pushes us toward the next step in our careers.
It’s a fact that shifts happen, and specific positions and companies are not meant for everyone. Jobs are easily outgrown, especially for high-achieving employees. This doesn’t make it any easier. Resigning with grace is incredibly important and takes strategic preparation in order to execute your leave in a professional manner that will maintain both your reputation and relationships.
It’s important not to burn bridges and to walk out the door feeling liberated and empowered as to what is coming your way next. A poor resignation can leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, and the consequences can follow you to your next position.
Here are some tips on resignation etiquette that will allow you to leave a positive final impression.
Make Sure This is What You Really Want
High achieving employees are always doing research, setting goals, and making sure they are challenged in their current role and company. It’s one thing to have a bad day or week. However, make sure your desire to move on doesn’t stem from restlessness. Rather, your decision to move on should be rooted in tangible reasons that will move you up in your career. Remember, this is a firm and final decision, so be aware of the reasons you’re choosing to leave and be confident in your decision. In the end, make sure you know what scenario will be the best outcome for you!
Speak With Your Leaders
Take time to set meetings with your direct managers and anyone you have worked under in your role, rather than letting them hear it as second-hand information. Explain your position as professionally and clear as possible, and prepare to answer any questions you receive on where you’re going and why. Keeping your answers to these questions strategic and positive is important. Also, be confident in where you want the conversation to head. You never know, management may offer you a raise or promotion if they really value you as an employee.
Give Adequate Notice
Work with your manager to determine what is best for both parties. Obviously, two-weeks is the standard, but take into consideration factors that will affect both of your needs. For example, busy season, personal emergencies, moving to a new city for a position, etc.
Submit a Letter of Resignation
This may seem old fashioned, but it shows your professionalism and desire to check off all the boxes needed in the process. This should clearly outline your confirmation and intention to leave the role and the company, along with your confirmed last day and any other details you wish to restate that back up your resignation. Keep the tone of the letter positive and ensure you thank management for the opportunities that were presented to you throughout your time at the company.
Tie Up Loose Ends
Remember, the impression you leave behind when you resign can strongly influence your references and reputation in the future. It can be hard to stay focused until the bitter end, but it’s worth it. Create a hand-off document, help train your future successor, make sure your clients and colleagues know who to contact in your absence, and remain an active player in your role until you walk out of the office.
Ask for a Reference
This can be in the form of a LinkedIn endorsement, a reference letter, or simply an email that states that your colleague is happy to give you a positive review for future employers. This step will help you remain on good terms with your team and managers as you apply your previous opportunities to help get you to your next one.
Transitioning your career can be a challenge, and it can be hard to know where to go next. We offer career coaching, outplacement services, and support for anyone who is looking to move forward in their career.
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