How to professionally resign from your job

This week’s blog post is about something that is uncomfortable and awkward – which is why we’re addressing it! We’re talking about resigning – leaving your current job for another opportunity.

Every employer and manager knows that their staff will not stay with them forever. They understand that new opportunities arise and that eventually even their best staff will move on. That being said, there is a professional way to resign that ensures the relationships you built at your old position are not negatively impacted. Here are a few must dos, when resigning:

  1. Provide enough notice

When you resign, your employer needs to find a replacement for you. You need to give them enough time to advertise the job, interview candidates and hire the right person. Typically providing one-month notice gives your employer enough time to do this. At minimum, you need to comply with any minimum notice periods stated in your employment contract (if there is one), which may be as little as 2 weeks. I have seen employees resign at 5pm on Friday afternoon, stating they will not be coming in on Monday. This gives your employer no time to find a replacement, putting a strain on the rest of the team. This type of behaviour is not professional and leaves a bad impression with your old employer. Remember, you may need these people as references in the future!

  1. Talk to your manager in person

When you decide to resign, schedule a meeting with your manager and tell them in person. After working with someone directly, give them the courtesy of an in-person conversation, so you can openly discuss your new opportunity, your last day, and how to plan for your departure. After discussing with your manager, then provide a written letter to them and to the HR team. It is often best to send your resignation letter by email so that you have evidence and you ensure that the documents are received.

  1. Develop a transition plan

Again, you never want to burn bridges or leave a bad impression at your old workplace – you never know when you’ll need a reference from them, or even if you may want to return to work there in the future. The best way to maintain a positive relationship is to make your departure as easy as possible on them. Start by writing out a list of all your tasks and responsibilities. Help your manager by training your colleagues on any tasks they might take on when you leave.

Overall, resigning in a mature and professional manner will ensure that you maintain a positive relationship with your former employer. Think about how your departure is going to impact your team and how you can make it as smooth and easy as possible.

Do you have any questions on how to resign from your job? Share them in the comments section below.

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