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Resigning from your job on good terms takes preparation, tact and professionalism. Using the correct etiquette when you resign can strengthen your reputation as a trustworthy and considerate professional; helping to position you strongly for your next move. Find out how to do the right thing by your employer with the tips below.
Before announcing your intention to resign, make sure your decision is firm and final. Being clear on your reasons will help you to resign confidently, and help you to avoid being drawn into a counter-offer. Get your new offer in writing first, check your notice period and rehearse your explanation beforehand. This will help you to present it more comfortably and anticipate any potential questions.
It is best to resign in person, giving as much notice as possible. Choose a quiet, convenient time to meet with your manager before notifying your colleagues. Briefly explain your reasons in a courteous and professional manner and express your willingness to finish current projects in your remaining time. Make a follow-up appointment to hand over your letter of resignation and discuss transition plans.
Submit a concise professional letter after your meeting confirming your intention to leave. Refer to the date and time of your discussion with your manager, the role you are resigning from, and the date of your last day. You may want to add a sentence re-stating your reasons. If relevant, highlight the things you learned in the role and how much you enjoyed working there. End the letter on a positive note; either a thank you for the opportunities you enjoyed or best wishes for the company’s future.
The impression you leave behind when you resign can strongly influence the kind of reference you receive in the future. Try to resolve as much outstanding work as you can in your notice period. Be willing to train your successor, delegate loose ends to relevant colleagues, or write a detailed handover document. Let your contacts and clients know you are leaving and advise them who to contact in your absence. You can also invite them to get connected via LinkedIn in case you are not connected yet.
It is important not to burn any bridges when you resign and risk undoing your good work. You may want to keep supervisors and colleagues in your network of contacts, or require a reference from the employer later on. You may also end up working for or with the same people sometime in the future. Ensure your reputation and relationship with the employer remains positive by leaving with grace and professionalism.
Getting a letter of recommendation (or to get your manager to act as a verbal referee) is vital, even if you already have a new role lining up for you. If you (and your referees) have a LinkedIn profile, try to obtain your recommendations digitally and make sure they are on display on your account. Ask for recommendations in the final week of your employment and thank your stakeholders for their leadership, enthusiasm, assistance etc. Don’t limit your recommendation to just your manager - seek out references of clients, suppliers, peers or anyone with whom you touched base regularly during the course of your role, and who could vouch for you.
Resigning can be a difficult thing to do, but make sure you leave for the right reasons, think positively and ensure you leave on good terms.