Tips and Tricks for Resigning The Proper Way

  • On July 28, 2022

No matter the reason you decide to leave a job, there is a proper way to resign. The common idea is to leave in a graceful or classy manner, projecting positive feelings with your former colleagues and certifying your professionalism. However, it can be a little confusing to ensure you leave in the best manner possible. Below are some tips and tricks for resigning the proper way.

1. Tell your boss.

Telling your employer about your resignation before other coworkers, professionals and posting a status on social outlets is a good way to start your resignation on the right foot. The best way to tackle this task is to start with an informal meeting, either in person or virtually, stating you’re departure and offering to help with the transition. Then you should follow up with a formal resignation letter, which should include your departure day (two weeks’ notice is standard) and a sentence or two thanking your employer for the great learning opportunities the job provided. Never include reasons for leaving, what you disliked about your job or any unsolicited advice on how the organization can cope in your absence.

2. Maintain the relationships you’ve built.

No matter the circumstances of leaving your job, try not to burn bridges in the process. Instead, maintain the relationships you’ve built within your position as well as focus on building new ones. With the advancement of technology and online networking, you can lay the foundations for lasting relationships with your ex-coworkers. As you say goodbye, offer to connect on LinkedIn or any other forums you’re active in. You should also not assume that close colleagues in your immediate work group are the only ones worth staying in touch with. You never know whose help or recommendation you might need down the road. Even if you didn’t work with someone directly but respect them and would like to stay in touch, extend them an offer to connect.

3. Offer to help train your replacement.

Showing your replacement the ropes speaks to your character and professionalism. It’s also a way to keep your impact on the job going, between the long hours you spent setting up and refining your work processes or bonding with clients by learning their particular likes and dislikes. It’s also a highly valuable skill set that many companies would like to see in potential candidates, giving you the opportunity to exercise and sharpen it.

4. Tie up any loose ends.

Brief your supervisor and coworkers on where you left off on projects they are taking over. Anticipate problems and address any questions your team may have. If you don’t have the chance to train your replacement, leave detailed instructions for your colleagues on how to find critical files and documents. Notify your clients so they are aware of your departure and provide them with a point of contact for future inquiries as well. 

1. Leaving your team during a problematic time period.

While it is not always possible, try to avoid resigning at a challenging time for your employer, such as during the middle of the company’s busy season or the day before your boss goes departs on a holiday. If you’re leading a project into its final stretch, consider extending your resignation period so you can finish the initiative. Your flexibility will cost you nothing, but it will win you extra points from your current employer for a potentially stellar reference.

2. Vent in your exit interview.

Exit interviews give human resources (HR) managers the chance to get some honest feedback on working conditions, company policies and more. However, keep in mind that these meetings are not a chance for you to commentate on your personal grievances. Instead, offer fact-based insights into why you decided to leave. For example, you might present figures showing how the firm’s perks and benefits have fallen behind industry standards. Be sure to thank the HR team for a smooth offboarding process, making a positive, lasting impression with your current employer that could be valuable in the future.

3. Entertain a counteroffer.

If the company doesn’t want you to leave, management is likely to offer you financial or other incentives to stay. While it’s nice to feel wanted, accepting a counteroffer is a potential risk. Ask yourself questions about why you wanted to resign in the first place. If you were looking for a new challenge, the likelihood of that occurring in your new position is a 50% chance that could cost you more in the future.

4. Drop the ball on your last day.

Remember that you’re still on the company payroll until the last hour of your final day. Carry out your remaining tasks during your resignation period, but leave enough time to handle tasks outside of current projects, such as packing and returning company assets. If you’re working remotely, you may need to meet with an IT manager regarding equipment return and relinquishing access to company systems. Keep things positive as you say goodbye to colleagues, but also play down any elation you may feel about leaving. The less drama, the better. 

Handing in your resignation is never an easy process, but if you approach it with tact and grace, you’ll leave the company in the best light possible and with fewer hard feelings all around. There is a chance after announcing that you’re leaving a job, your employer may want you to depart the organization sooner than you’d planned. Don’t take it personally; it’s just business. But do make sure you’re prepared to leave the firm promptly, just in case you’re asked to do so.

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