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Knowing how to resign well is an important skill.  You have invested a lot in your career and spent the bulk of your weekly waking hours in an organisation. Even if you have a great relationship with your boss, your leaving can present a business continuity problem so don’t take it personally if the reaction is not what you’d hoped. 

Resigning professionally is paramount to keeping a good reputation in your industry. 

Some of my strongest working relationships have been built after I left a company; out in the professional world we are all just peers again.

Here are some tips for how to resign well so it’s clean and successful. In  the space of your notice period you can be out the other side, with your relationships and legacy intact and an exciting new opportunity ahead. 

Remember this; it may be a level playing field with individuals who may have been very senior to you but they can potentially still help you in your career. You can help them too.

Follow the resignation rules of your company

It’s a professional courtesy to honour the company guidelines and it also helps to keep emotion out of the resignation process.  Yuur termination benefits will require due process. You have a commitment to your current company to see out your contract and a new employer will wait.  If you need to work your notice period it would be prudent to take a break and have some down time before starting afresh somewhere.

Check your competition restrictions

Your future employer will not be in a position to advise you formally on what your current contract says; you’ll need independent advice if you think there is ambiguity.. Be prepared to be asked to leave the premises of your current job immediately. This is definitely nothing personal and is just standard business practice. 

Resign face-to-face

Never quit a job over email, and it can be seen as incredibly disrespectful. It’s also important to make sure word doesn’t get out beforehand.

Be gracious

During your resignation meeting, take the opportunity to thank your boss for the experience you’ve had at your current job. I did ensure to mention the fair treatment of a very tricky superior in my resignation letter (which was not addressed to him) and he actually called me to say goodbye. This really helped smooth my exit.

Keep it positive

Try to keep your narrative about leaving positive, no matter whom you are talking to. You can just say you’ve found “a more senior opportunity that suits you more.” If  you’re leaving without a job to go to say “I need to to work out my next move; I have learned a lot as much here as I can”.

How to resign well means being succinct and brief

You have decided to leave; you don’t owe anyone a lengthy explanation in the resignation chat. You can certainly offer to train your successor but the resignation should be formal and quick.

Maintain the status quo until your very last day

You never know what capacity people will be in and if and when they turn up in your future. I am continually surprised where some ex-colleagues have ended up, their level of seniority and the type of company they are in. Linkedin makes you pretty accessible to everyone so “keep your powder dry”

Secure good recommendations

Ask for recommendations before you go. If you already have a job lined up, this might not seem imperative, but it’s a good idea to always have a few people from every past job when you need them. Ask in person while you are still fresh in their mind and in your notice period; it is harder when people are seeing you every day to turn you down!

Mindset

For most people, there’s always going to be some doubts. It’s familiar, comfortable and you know everyone, why would you leave?! You’ve invested so much there.

Stick to your guns: write down the reasons you want to leave and weigh them against the pros of your new job. Remember why you are doing what you are doing. This will give you the impetus to be clear and concise.

 

Don’t over promise on your handover

It’s important to conserve energy for your new role. During your resignation chat; try and avoid committing to anything except agreeing to your final date. These are separate conversations.

Going forward, maintain the status quo until your very last day

Don’t assume that you will never see these people again. You never know what capacity people will be in and if and when they turn up in your future. I am continually surprised where some ex-colleagues have ended up, their level of seniority and the type of company they are in. Linkedin makes you pretty accessible to everyone so “keep your powder dry”.

 

Unlike past decades, it’s common, and many believe prudent, to change jobs every five years or so in order to keep one’s experience fresh and one’s learning alive. Knowing how to handle a job transition professionally is a valuable career skill.

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

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How to Resign Well

Knowing how to resign well is an important skill.  You have invested a lot in your career and spent the bulk of your weekly waking

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