How to… resign properly

How to… resign properly
By admin

STEP ONE: Be Professional

You've just received a job offer for an amazing opportunity and have to let your current employer know. What now? Whether you write a letter, a text, a Facebook update or storm out of the office in a rage, all will have implications on your professional reputation. Organising your departure in a diplomatic and businesslike manner is key. Following resignation etiquette ensures that not only do you get a good reference, but with social media making the world smaller, you don't have a bad reputation to following you to your new role.

STEP TWO: Organise A Meeting

Mike Ratcliffe, director of Pear Recruitment, advises the first step should be to schedule a meeting with your manager. "Requesting a meeting with your manager to let them know of your intentions is the way to go," he said. When scheduling the meeting, it is important to keep in mind what's happening in your workplace. Try not to ask for a meeting half an hour before your manager is due to do a presentation for instance. How much detail you go into is dependent upon the relationship you have developed with your superior, but with a face-to-face meeting, be prepared for a few questions. Although a meeting may be more stressful, it is a good way to show your manager you have the integrity to do the right thing.

STEP THREE: Write your resignation letter

After this, draft your resignation letter. Try to be as humble and thankful as you can for the opportunity you were given. Even if you are leaving because you hate your job, hate your manager and hate the company, be nice. If there are issues you feel have to be discussed before you leave, bring these up in your exit interview but remember to be as constructive as possible, offering possible solutions and not just verbal diarrhoea of all the problems you've faced. Your professional reputation is something you take with you from role to role so you must make sure to protect it.

STEP FOUR: Be Helpful

When all is said and done, there are a few more steps you can take to ensure your departure doesn't hurt your reputation.

1. Stay for the duration of your notice period. Sounds like a simple one, but many people make the mistake of cutting their notice period by taking annual leave. Not a good look.

2. Make sure there is a smooth handover by having all your work completed and tying up any loose ends. This includes filing important documents properly, saving email trails and letting clients know that you're moving on.

3. Offer to train your replacement. Though it can be quite tough to train someone new, offering shows you care about the future of the role and the business as a whole.

As Ratcliffe points out, "You'll be surprised how small many industries are, you never know who you might run into in the future. Burning your bridges is never a good idea."

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