When it comes to handing in your notice there is definitely a right and wrong way to do it! Quitting your job can be a liberating experience, but be careful not to let your ego get in the way of respect. While the thought of slamming the door in your boss’ face and publicly calling out your arch work nemesis is tempting, remember that the world is a small and unpredictable place.
So here’s our guide to resigning the right way:
1. Be Sure
Whether your reasons are business or pleasure, take a measured look at what you’re doing after you quit your job. We know not all jobs were created equal and you may hate yours but don’t hand in your notice without forethought into what the week after will look like.
If you have another job offer on the table, make sure everything is signed in writing and confirmed before you hand in your notice. Re-evaluate the potential position and be confident that it’s the right move for your career.
2. Consult Your Family/Partner
Sometimes it’s easy to internalize decisions like this. Don’t forget to consult your family, partner or any person in your life who will be greatly impacted by your decision. Review your finances if you’re planning on being unemployed for a certain period. How much do you need to have saved to be unemployed for X, Y, Z months?
3. Check Your Notice Period
Review your contract to see what notice period is included. The standard is two weeks but it could be more, less or none! Try to give two weeks as a minimum. If your employer pressures you on your notice period, remember you are not obligated to stay longer than your contract states.
4. Clear Your Work Devices
Before you murmur a word that you might be leaving, clear your email, computer and any other work devices, of any personal files and messages. Once you give your notice your employer may decide to ‘walk’ you and make your resignation effective immediately. You don’t want them to find any catty emails or pictures of your dog a week later in your inbox!
5. Write A Resignation Letter
It’s best practice to write a formal resignation letter. There’s no need to get too flowery, simply state you are resigning and your last day of work. Be respectful and thankful but DO NOT choose this moment to vent about any negative feelings you may have towards your boss or colleagues.
If possible hand your resignation in person to your direct manager first. Again reinforce that you are thankful for the opportunities they’ve provided and avoid being negative. Also be confident about your decision and if it seems possible, prepare for a counter offer. You may also be asked to take part in an Exit Interview, which you should similarly be respectful and grateful in, rather than spiteful.
7. Ask For Recommendations
Remember now is the best time to ask for references and recommendations. Ask your boss and any appropriate managers/colleagues if they would be happy to provide a recommendations on LinkedIn. Send them the recommendation request as soon as possible. The more time passes the less they’ll remember and be likely to act on it.
8. Take Care of the Details
Don’t forget to take care of all those housekeeping details like benefits and salary. Find out what happens with any unused leave, expected bonuses and the status of all your benefit schemes. Also work out the details of handing over any work devices and extras (i.e. vehicle) that were provided to you.
9. Be Positive and Grateful
After handing in your resignation, continue to treat your boss and colleagues with gratitude and respect. Don’t flaunt the fact that you’re leaving, even if you’re like a kid at Christmas on the inside! Send a farewell email to your colleagues, as well as a separate one to any outside parties you’d like to maintain relations with. Ask for them to connect on LinkedIn and a personal email address they can contact you on.
Resigning from your job is a big move and something you (hopefully!) only do a few times in your life. So make it count and leave a lasting positive impression everywhere you go. Chances are you’ll run into many of these people going forward in your career, so be memorable for all the right reasons.