A job resignation can be a difficult decision; especially when it’s an employer you truly enjoyed working for. Maybe you’ve received an offer you can’t refuse, or you’re finally in a position to advance your career. Or, perhaps it’s just time to try something new. Whatever your reason, beginning this new chapter inevitably means closing out the old one. So, how do you say goodbye in a way that doesn’t burn any bridges in the process?
By writing a great letter of resignation. Is there a magic formula or perfect way to do this? Not necessarily. But there are certain things you can do to not only part ways amicably, but also protect your future career in the process. Let’s take a look at a few pro tips on how to handle your resignation like a boss.
Keep it professional.
Treat your resignation just as you would any other type of business correspondence. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had it up to here with your boss micromanaging you or you have zero desire to ever step foot in that office again. Your current employer will ultimately become a reference for your future jobs, so don’t burn a bridge.
Get to the point.
You don’t want your boss to read your resignation letter and wonder what, exactly, you are trying to say. You also don’t want to pour out your heart in a six page novella. Keep it to one page and be crystal clear about what your intentions are. Include a brief explanation that you are resigning and specify exactly when your last date of work will be.
A resignation letter isn’t a platform for you to complain about all the things you dislike about the job you’re leaving. You don’t even need to explain why you’re resigning. Instead, focus on keeping things positive. Thank your boss for the opportunities he or she has given you and express gratitude for the knowledge and experience you’ve gained and the people you’ve gotten the chance to get to know.
Make an effort to ensure that the transition goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible. It’s standard courtesy to provide your employer notice of at least two weeks so they can begin looking for your replacement before you officially hit the road. For upper-level management positions, longer notice may be expected. You might also offer to help bring your replacement up to speed once he or she is hired or make yourself available for a specified period of time after you leave.
Make it official.
You may have a great working relationship with your boss, but a resignation should always be formalized. That means you should either type and print it or at the very least email it. This provides a record of when you actually gave your notice and removes any confusion or ambiguity. It also gives your employer documentation to reference should they need to at a future date.
Give a heads up.
While it’s not required, it can be a nice gesture to let your boss know you plan on leaving before you hand in your letter of resignation. If you’ve already accepted a position elsewhere and you’re certain you are on your way out, you might mention to your manager that you’re planning on resigning so it doesn’t come as a complete shock. This can help lessen the blow and alleviate any potential hard feelings.
Last, but certainly not least, be prepared for the fallout once you officially hand in your letter of resignation. There’s no way to know for sure how your employer will react, but having an idea of what could possibly occur can be helpful. For instance, you may be asked to leave immediately. Or, you may be given a counteroffer to consider. In most cases, you’ll be asked to give an exit interview. Being prepared to address whatever may come your way can help keep the situation from going south.
Is there a perfect way to resign? No. But the steps above should help make the process as painless as possible for everyone.
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