When you resign from your job, it’s important to do so as gracefully and professionally as possible. If you’re planning to put in your notice, consider taking these points below and doing everything in your power to make your exit as strong as your entrance.
1. Make sure you actually want to quit.
Whether you’re a new employee who found that your new company’s culture doesn’t fit your values or you’ve been with the same company for years, leaving isn’t easy. If you’re not sure if quitting is the right choice, consider the pros and cons before making your final decision. Even if you have every reason in the world to resign, it might not be a good idea to quit your job right away. Make sure that you’re leaving for the right reasons, rather than quitting because you’re having a bad week and it seems like it won’t get better any time soon. Consider these questions before you make up your mind:
● Why am I quitting?
● Can this relationship be saved?
● Have I timed this right?
2. Make a Post-Employment Plan
Before putting in your notice, it’s a good idea to have a post-employment plan in place. Do you have another job offer? If so, weigh the pros and cons of the new position versus your current position. Do you have enough savings or other income to manage financially? If you’re starting a new business, is it financially secured enough for you to quit your current job? Even if your employment situation isn’t the best, you might want to consider hanging on to the job you have and start your job search or business before you resign.
3. Give adequate notice
If you have an employment contract that states how much notice you should give, abide by it. Otherwise, it’s appropriate to offer two weeks’ notice. In some cases, you may feel that you are unable to stay for another couple of weeks. When that happens, it’s important to conduct yourself professionally in every other way, such as sending a formal resignation letter, offering to help to the best of your abilities, and keeping things positive until you go.
If your employer asks you to stay longer than two weeks (or the time period in your contract), you have no obligation to stay. Your new employer will be expecting you to start as scheduled, and in a timely manner. What you could do is offer to help your previous employer, if necessary, after hours, via email or on the phone.
4. Tell your manager face-to-face
It might be tempting to quit your job over email in order to avoid an awkward conversation but doing so will likely be viewed as unprofessional. Have a direct and professional conversation with your manager. Emphasize the positive and talk about how the company has benefited you, but also mention that it’s time to move on. Avoid being negative. There’s no point, you’re leaving, and you want to leave on good terms. Regardless of why you quit your job, be sure to say the right things in your resignation letter: offer a brief explanation of why you’re leaving, thank them for the opportunity, and let them know when your last day will be.
5. Ask for a Reference
Before you leave, ask for a letter of recommendation from your manager. As time passes and people move on, it’s easy to lose track of previous employers. With a letter in hand or a LinkedIn recommendation online, you’ll have documentation of your credentials to share with prospective employers.
6. Return Company Property
Return any company property you have, including keys, documents, computers, phones, and anything else that doesn’t belong to you. The company doesn’t want to chase you to get it back, and you don’t want to be held responsible if it’s not returned in a timely manner.
All in all, Make the transition as smooth as possible. Your managers and colleagues are much more likely to remember you fondly if you tidy things up on your way out the door.
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