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The Dos and Don’ts of Handing in Your Resignation

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You’ve found a new job? Great! Now there is something that you must do that no one enjoys doing – hand in your resignation. Everyone has to do it at some stage in their career and it can be very stressful. No matter whether you like your role and you’re simply leaving for a better opportunity, or you’ve been unhappy in your job for a long time, you’ll want to resign on a positive note. Check out our top dos and don’ts so that you can resign with your reputation still intact.  

Do:

Write Your Resignation Letter

Before you do anything else, have your resignation letter typed up because this will explain your reasons for leaving. Make sure to show your gratitude and thank your Manager for the learning opportunities and guidance. Whatever you write in your letter will be kept on your employment file so keep it polite and professional, especially if you’re wanting a good recommendation. If you aren’t sure where to start check out our resignation letter template below.

Give Enough Notice

To refresh your memory about the terms and obligations in your contract, simply check how much notice you need to give in advance. The standard amount of notice usually ranges from four to eight weeks, but this will depend on your role and where you work. Knowing how much notice you need also means you can plan your start date at your new role, without it clashing with your notice period. 

Tell Your Manager in Person

Although you want to tell everyone your exciting news that you’re leaving, don’t forget to tell your Manager first. To avoid any embarrassing situation, set up a meeting with your Manager when it suits them and bring along your resignation letter so they have a copy. Telling your Manager face-to-face means there will be no miscommunication over emails or the phone, instead you have the chance to lay everything out on the table and be honest. More often than not, your Manager will certainly respect you for coming to them first, and in person.

Keep Up Your Work Ethic

Don’t put your feet up on the desk just yet. Your last few weeks on the job can often leave a lasting impact so you’ll want to tie up any loose ends and give it your all. Show your Manager and colleagues why you deserve a good reference, that you’re a hard-working employee, and that you’ll be leaving with all of your projects finished. Continue each day as per usual, attend meetings, and perform well until your final day. Even though it’s not a requirement, leaving instructions or hand-over-notes about your role can also be a great help for the person that is moving into your role.

Don’t:

Accept a Counter-Offer

When people get cold feet, or have second thoughts about leaving, it can seem like a good idea to accept a counter-offer. However, no matter how attractive a counter-offer might look, it’s merely a short-term solution to a long-term problem – which is your job dissatisfaction. Not to mention it can put your new job at risk, especially if you’ve already singed the paperwork. Remember your reasons for leaving and focus on your career goals, this can help you politely decline any counter-offer should it arise.

Burn Your Bridges

It can feel a bit odd been put on the spot and being asked what you liked about your job, what you didn’t like, and what can be improved. This is what your exit interview might look like, and it’s not a time to blurt out any rude comments, no matter how tempting. The aim of the exit interview is for your Manager to take feedback on board so that they can potentially find out what causes employees to leave, and what can they improve on for the future. The best thing that you can do is to remain polite and keep your comments positive.

Forget to Say Goodbye

Whether you know your colleagues very well or not, what better way to say goodbye than in style? Treat your colleagues to some chocolates and get them a thank you card, it’s a small but subtle way to say that you will miss them, and a sign of gratitude for all the support they’ve given you. If your office and colleagues throw you a farewell get-together, you’ll know you handled your resignation the right way.

Lose Touch

Just because you’re moving on with your career, doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with people that you’ve formed valuable professional relationships with. Stay connected with your colleagues and Manager on LinkedIn (if you want to, that is), and keep in contact with them. If you haven’t already, ask your Manager or colleagues for a recommendation on LinkedIn. When you demonstrate your commitment during your notice period, they’ll most likely give you a glowing reference!

Summary

It’s important to hand your resignation in correctly, because you might need the job later down the line, and you might even bump into your Manager in the future, or even work for them in another company. Follow our tips so that you can resign successfully and begin the next stage of your career with confidence.

If you’re struggling with your resignation letter or you’re not sure how to approach your Manager, feel free to get in touch