Resigning from your current job is always an awkward conversation at best. From texting a resignation, to simply never showing up to work again; there are some true resignation horror stories. However, a bad resignation can tarnish your reputation – leading to less than flattering references, burning bridges in your network, and ultimately damaging your career. Luckily, this can be avoided by taking the time to ensure that you give your employer adequate and courteous notice.
Sit down with your current boss
Although you might be uncomfortable speaking to your boss about resigning in person, it is a conversation that is best had face-to-face. Avoid the temptation to call or email them with your news. You aren't obliged to tell your boss every detail about your decision, but you can give them a simple explanation like “I have been offered another opportunity.”Depending on the professional relationship with your boss, you can opt to sit down with them in their office or grab a coffee together informally. Whatever your approach, taking the time to have the conversation will go a long way in preserving your future relationship with them and the company.
Write your formal notice in advance
When resigning, you should provide your current employer with a written statement. This should include a clear declaration that says you will resign, the date of your last day of work and a thank you to your employer. It is important to remember to keep this notice short, to the point and formal. If you intend on sitting down with your employer to tell them, you should prepare by already having written out a formal letter or email that you can provide them during or immediately following your meeting. This makes the whole process smoother, and reinforces to your boss that you are an organised and valuable employee – keeping doors open for the future.
Give your employer enough notice
Most workplaces stipulate in their contracts how much notice they require before your last day, and it is important to uphold this agreement. In the event that you aren't required to give notice, it is still considerate to give your employer warning that you are leaving in advance. This will give them enough time to advertise and fill your position or to make other arrangements for your work load. As a rule, one pay cycle should give your employer adequate notice. Leaving employers in the lurch by not honouring your contract or giving them suitable notice can deter your boss from giving you positive references and limit opportunities in the future.
Maintain the relationship after your last day
Even after you've been removed from payroll, it is important to be mindful about maintaining your relationship. Don't trash your previous employer or job on social media or other online forums – this will only paint you in a bad light and may jeopardise your chances of future employment. Similarly, don't do the same when speaking to former work colleagues from that company. Even though you are resigning from your job, there may be future opportunities at the company or through your colleagues – so remember, always keep the door open.
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