Whether you’ve recently landed a better job, or you’re just sick of your boss’s antics, there’s a right and a wrong way to resign. It’s important that you resign in a positive and professional manner no matter what the reason for your departure. How you resign speaks volumes of your character and can even impact your future. Although many people think about giving the soon-to-be ex-boss a piece of their minds before leaving it’s wise to keep those comments to yourself.
Many companies have requirements when it comes to resigning. Some require two weeks’ notice before leaving, others require you to actually mail in your resignation. Make sure you check any existing manuals for company policy concerning your leaving. Do it properly to prevent negative feedback from your old boss to your new company. When applying for jobs, former bosses are usually called, and you could have trouble finding work if your old boss doesn’t like the manner in which you left.
A resignation should always be in written form. If you work for a very small company it could be acceptable to hand write the letter, but for most resignations, the letter should be typewritten. Make sure it’s properly dated and signed. Do not list grievances you’ve had with the company or with the boss in particular. Instead, write in a positive and professional manner throughout the letter. Be sure to add your signature at the bottom. The letter should be preferably one page, but no more than two.
How you phrase the resignation letter is of the utmost importance. For example, it’s okay to say “I’ve enjoyed working here for 2 years but I feel we have too many creative differences between us.” It’s not alright to say “I hate the decisions you make” or “We can’t get along and that’s why I’m leaving.” Keep a professional and polite manner throughout the letter. State a general reason of why you’re leaving, positive things you’ve gained from working there, and the exact date you’ll be leaving. There’s no reason to get lengthy about why you’re resigning. Simply state that you are without being negative about it.
Make sure you understand the terminology in the written policy on resignation. For some companies, two weeks’ notice means ten working days. For others, two weeks means fourteen working days. Read any manuals or otherwise check policy to see what’s acceptable. Having your boss tell someone in the future that you didn’t work your notice will not look good. No matter what your relationship has been with your boss he or she could still give you a good reference if you leave in a professional manner.
If office policy requires you to mail in your resignation it’s a good idea to send it via registered mail. This method gives you a receipt and ensures the letter will make it to the boss’ desk in a timely manner. Make sure you’ve allowed for mailing the letter when figuring your exact departure date.
Resigning isn’t all about letting the boss know. Take the time to thank employees who have worked with you. Send personal notes to those who have helped you along the way or have been important to you while there. If you want to give out parting gifts to some, but not all of your associates, do so in a private manner so others don’t feel left out.
It’s important that you finish up any projects or work that is still left pending. Although some projects or assignments might be passed down to others after your departure you should do your best to leave the company in the best shape you can. Don’t steal anything on your way out and be sure to shake the boss’ hand before clocking out for the last time. Leave your work station neat and clean before moving on to your next job.
Resigning isn’t the easiest thing to do especially if there has been some friction between you and the boss or co-workers. When trying to move on to bigger and better things, though, you’ll have much better luck if you leave each previous job with dignity. Each step along the way was and is important. Leave a lasting impression of professionalism, keep the respect of your associates, and feel good about yourself when you resign in a positive fashion.