When leaving an existing position, resign like a professional to avoid burning bridges. Here are some tips to leave your current job gracefully:
Be Prepared to Move On Before Resigning
Make sure you have your new position pinned down and are prepared to leave immediately. Even though you may be willing to give notice, your employer doesn’t have to accept it. So, make sure you have cleaned up your computer and cleaned out your desk of personal items beforehand. Of course, if you have an employment contract, it should state how much notice you should give.
Do you have everything you need if you are asked to leave immediately? Do you know your company’s paid time off policy and how much you are owed?
Write a Formal Letter of Resignation
Writing a formal letter of resignation informing your employer you will be leaving is important. This will not only leave a positive impression of you as an employee and it will also become part of your employment file. The letter should include the last day you plan to work, a short explanation as to why you are leaving, and a few words of thanks to the organization.
Meet with your immediate boss in person to present the letter of resignation. Of course, if you work remotely or are a contractor, meeting in person may not be practicable. Be prepared ahead of time to provide an explanation for resigning so you aren’t tempted to say things you may regret later. Your good attitude will help maintain the relationship which will be useful in providing a professional reference. The goal is an amicable breakup and the opportunity to be the person your boss would rehire if the opportunity ever arose.
Ask to participate in an exit interview prior to your departure. Good employers know that knowing why people choose to leave can be helpful. Getting honest feedback can make a world of difference if what is learned is used constructively. Exit interviews vary from company to company and might be in the form of a survey or be conducted by someone in human resources. Remember this is not an appropriate time to vent or complain or make petty remarks. It is important that you keep your demeanor professional and honestly share specific and helpful information.
Help with Your Replacement
Spend whatever time you left to tie up loose ends, so you leave a clean slate for the new hire. Create a document to outlines all the responsibilities of your current position and include any processes you have found useful. If you work on this document with your boss, it may be used to create a job posting and become a helpful guide for your replacement.
Stay in Touch
Staying in contact with your old boss and coworkers is one way to keep that bridge open. You never know when you may need to cross it again.