Candidates often admit they’re nervous about resigning. These nerves usually stem from the uncertainty of how your boss is going to react or perhaps some guilt about leaving work behind for co-workers. Whatever the case may be resigning from a job is never an easy task.
How can you resign gracefully? It is imperative that you leave your job on a high note because how you go about leaving your old position will influence how others perceive you and interact with you in the future.
Here are 10 Tips on how to resign:
Prepare– Think of a resignation as a job interview. Put time and thought into it. Prepare what you are going to say, in what order, and to whom. You can do some serious damage to working relationships if you tell the wrong people first (even in confidence) and somebody influential finds out second hand.
Be honest– Do not withhold the truth from your employers and colleagues. Tell them up front that you are leaving, but do not over-share too many details about your new position or compensation package. Honesty is important, but do not be emotional or dramatic.
Resign to your boss in person/Human Resources in writing– While HR will require a formal letter of resignation for their files, it’s important to actually make the announcement to your employer in person. Keep the conversation positive, professional, and constructive.
Be realistic- If your resignation is coming “out of the blue,” expect a reaction from your employer. Allow time for the reaction to your news. If your manager becomes aggressive, confrontational, or upset, do not respond with similar behavior. Revert to your prepared comments.
Be appreciative- Thank your employers for past training and other growth opportunities. Thank your colleagues for what you have learned from them. Accentuate the positives – find something good to say.
Do not burn your bridges- you might need to rely on your previous employer for references, advice or even a job in the future! You also never know where people from your current place of work may end up in five or ten years’ time.
Stay positive- You do not need to give a reason for leaving, but if you wish to include a bit more context, your formal letter isn’t the place to air your grievances or call out colleagues. Being overly-negative or acting unprofessional will taint your reputation in the eyes of higher-ups who you might need to later rely on for reference. In addition, it can burn bridges with coworkers you do intend to keep in touch with.
Keep it simple– Get straight to the point. Explain why you are leaving, but try to avoid expressing negative feelings. Do not share details about your new compensation package since that may lead them to a counter-offer.
Give appropriate notice period- Giving two weeks’ notice is standard when resigning from a job. If your employer asks you to stay longer than those two weeks, you are not obligated to stay. Keep in mind your employer does not have to honor those two weeks; they may end your employment immediately.
Address the counteroffer– If you receive a counter-offer, take time to consider it. Has anything really changed? Is this what you really want? Think about the reasons you decided to take the new position in the first place. Given that you have already resigned, will it be easy for you to continue working in the same company? Statistics compiled by the National Employment Association show that over 80% of those people who elected to accept a counter-offer and stayed are no longer with their company six months later. If you are seriously considering accepting a counter-offer, think about the impact it may have on your relationship with your new employers – you may deal with them again in the future.
Below are sample resignation letters for your reference: