Beyond The Basics: Resigning Gracefully

So, you have made the decision to leave your current job. Congratulations, you are embarking on an exciting chapter in your career! At The HeadHunters and TempsAhead we work closely with our clients when key roles like yours become vacant. Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about the difference between a graceful resignation and an exit that leaves one party (or both) feeling sore. Here are some important points to remember before you begin the process of resigning gracefully.

Get the basics right

It probably goes without saying that you should tell your employer you are resigning. But not every employee consults their contract to see what how much notice was stipulated when their employment contract was signed. It is essential that you meet this obligation, so be sure to plan ahead. If you are in a role that does not mandate giving notice, it is still advisable to speak to your employer and negotiate a period that works for everyone. Not only is it the polite thing to do, it will help to ensure that your current employer can maintain its normal functions as the organization seeks to replace you. So, put your resignation in writing and be sure to thank the company for the opportunities it has afforded you.

Resignations can be a cooperative effort

A resignation does not have to be a burden on you or your employer. Sure, if you are suddenly offered an opportunity elsewhere and two weeks is really all the notice you can give, so be it. But, if a new challenge is something that has been on your mind for a while and offers some flexibility, consider giving your employer more notice. Remember, when you let your boss know, a counter-offer may be on the horizon. And even if you are not interested in staying on, you can help your employer understand the limitations of its retention planning. Most managers and employers are, like you, seeking to grow and learn. Why not help them help others in your position?

Keep up the good work

When you give your two weeks’ notice that means you have two weeks of committed work left. It is far better to depart at the ‘top of your game’ than as an employee whose effort flagged and dwindled in their last days. Years from now, if someone asks your current boss if they would hire you again, would you rather they say, “in a flash!” or “not likely”? Bear in mind, the people in your professional network are networking when you are not around. So, if your professional reputation is precious to you, why not safeguard it?

Exit well

Be forthright, polite and frank in your exit interview. Be generous, kind and patient if you are asked to train your replacement. Be honest, diligent and transparent with the work you have left unfinished on your final day. And say thank you, goodbye and good luck to the people you have worked with. No matter how glad you are to be leaving a job, leave it well.