Most people will resign from a position several times during their careers. With a little preparation, resigning can be done with tact, dignity, and end working relationships positively enough for future interactions such as networking to be comfortable. If you stay within the same industry, that can be important over the lifetime of your career. Here are some basic recommendations for preparing to resign with as little fallout as possible.
Exit plan. Some companies enact a policy of immediate removal of those who resign. Be ready to go. In the week or two before you tender your resignation, bring your personal items home with you, straighten your work space, and remove personal files from company computers.
Be professional. Write a neutral resignation letter. Instead of the irate rant you would like to pen about difficult micromanagers, state your wish to resign calmly and without blame. Check your company manual to see if there is a required period of notice, if not, offer at least two weeks with a clearly stated planned last day of work.
Reason readiness. Need a neutral reason for leaving? Choose the closest to the truth while avoiding burning bridges with people you might need in the future. Here’s a few neutral reasons that won’t offend, leaving the door open to stay connected:
- To pursue other opportunities
- To advance my career
- To take time off to care for a loved one or pursue further education
- For personal reasons
- To relocate to a favourite city
- To follow a spouse’s job relocation
Kill with kindness. Offer a positive comment or two about your time with the company. Compliment a manager, your team, or the company itself or its ideals. No need to be effusive or false, just follow your mother’s advice and say something nice. Her advice works well if you just can’t find a positive remark, for it is better to Say nothing instead of going negative.
Counter-offers. If you are unsure, consult a Career Coach in advance of tendering your resignation and discuss counter-offers. Most experts recommend against accepting them. You’ve already demonstrated a wish to leave, which won’t sit well with your team or your superiors. Unless you or your coach have a compelling reason to accept, once you’ve made the decision to move on, it’s best to keep moving.
Interview strategy. Exit Interviews: Otherwise known as one last chance to incinerate those bridges. HR departments do love their exit interviews where they ask you why you are really leaving. Stick to your reason readiness answer that matches your resignation letter. Business can be a very small world; you don’t want a poor choice of words today to follow you into future jobs.
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