Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to Resign your Job the Right Way

Many signs show the economy is on the mend. Maybe you have received an offer for a higher paying job, you have the opportunity to return to your pre-recession career field, or you are ready to go back to school. Whether you live in a small town or a large metropolis, the best rule of thumb is to never burn bridges. Here are some considerations to ensure you always leave a position in the most positive way, with as much professionalism as possible.

Put it in Writing
No matter the reason for leaving a position, you should think of quitting your job as the end to a business contract. Therefore your resignation should be in writing. Your letter should be short, simple, and direct. The letter must contain your intent to leave, the date on which you will leave, the date you are submitting your resignation, and your signature.

Be Definitive, but be Considerate
When you offer your resignation, do not approach it as a negotiation process. Never offer your resignation unless you are prepared to walk out the door; it should never be an ultimatum to obtain higher pay or better benefits. However, don’t feel as though you have to apologize or offer personal reasons for leaving.

Offer at least two weeks’ notice. However, if you are in a high-level position you may need to provide at least a month. Ensure you have an exit strategy to transition any open projects or files and train your co-workers. Maintain your integrity by working hard the remainder of your time with the company and living up to your commitments. When resigning, your goal should be to make this as smooth a process as possible – for everyone involved. You can even offer to assist with hiring and training your replacement.

Be Prepared for a Negative Reaction
There are many different ways in which your company may react. Some companies will want you to work the remainder of your notice and others may escort you from the building immediately. You may be shunned by your co-workers and your boss may try to make you feel guilty. Don’t take it personal; try your best to keep your last few days professional and cordial.

Some companies may ask you to meet with Human Resources to conduct an exit interview and gain the “real” reason you are leaving. In an exit interview, avoid criticizing your employer or your boss. You might run into the same person at a new company and you might also need a reference form your previous employer.

Keep in Touch
Maintain professional contact with former co-workers and supervisors. Consider these former co-workers as part of your professional network. Protect your professional relationships; you never know when you may need their assistance. Avoid gloating over a new salary or benefits package.

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