Resignation can be tough, and for some people it is a difficult process to go through. Whether you are leaving for new opportunities elsewhere which you are super excited about or if you are unhappy to the point with your employer where you feel it is within your own best interests to leave, people are often confused by how to resign from your job in the best way possible.
But that doesn’t mean you should resign without proper preparation. Just like any other professional move, quitting your job without taking careful consideration of what you are going to say and write should be avoided. We have put together some pointers to help you understand how to quit your job properly.
Don’t leave without a reason and be sure this is what you want
Humans are emotional creatures and we can often act in the heat of the moment, following a deeply negative experience. Many of us will be all too familiar with going home following a tough day at work and carrying the negative, angry and stressful emotions over into our personal lives, sometimes making us feel like taking the extreme step of quitting our jobs.
Always take time to compose yourself, sleep on the situation and give things time to settle down. If things do not improve and after thinking about your situation rationally you feel moving on is the best thing for you, then look to begin strategising your next steps. Do you require a job offer elsewhere before you can afford to quit or is your financial position strong enough to allow you to leave as soon as contractually possible?
You might like our articles Should You Leave A Job You Love For More Money and Should You Change Jobs For Less Money.
Quit in person if possible
For those who don’t work remotely, the easiest and most professional way to quit is in person and while you should avoid being confrontational, it’s important to explain your reasons why you are leaving the company. A formal resignation letter accompanied by a meeting with your manager to discuss the situation can go a long way in not harming your reputation, both parties understanding your reasons for leaving and where you stand as an employee in regards to the expectations of you before you leave.
How to quit your Job Professionally
Stay calm and leave with grace
Staying calm when quitting your job is difficult if you feel wronged. It’s always a good idea to keep things professional and avoid burning bridges, even if you don’t feel satisfied with your current working situation and conditions.
Reasons to not burn bridges when leaving your current employer include:
- Will you ever need them again? Are you going to work for a company that might rely on your current employer’s services and you will require a good working relationship with the business?
- Would you ever consider working for them again in the future? Leaving under a cloud of negativity and confrontation could seriously harm your chances of working for this business again in years to come.
- Will you be requiring a positive reference from them in the future? Leaving on understandable terms and doing your best to support your employer in your final days and weeks can incentivise them to leave more positive feedback for you should it ever be required for a reference.
Be honest about why you’re leaving
There is value in having an open and honest discussion about your reasons for leaving, but you should be fair with your reasoning and focus on the positives ahead for you rather than blaming others and singling individuals out who you feel may have done wrong by you.
It is not unheard of for employers to make counter-offers to employees looking to leave in order to secure their services for longer and to avoid valuable losing experience and the costs of recruiting and training new staff members.
An open discussion where the reasons for you leaving are not impossible to be reversed and overcome may result in a counter-offer for some people, resulting in better working conditions and an increased rate of pay. There are some people who strongly believe that you should never accept a counter-offer as you have decided to leave for a reason, but that is a personal choice for you to decide should you ever be faced with this predicament.
Another positive that can come out of your honesty is opening your employer’s eyes to issues they may not have realised exist in their operations. Whilst it may be too late for them to regain your confidence, your concerns may result in better working conditions for your colleagues who you may have become fond of during your time working there. In a way, this could be a nice leaving gift from you to them.
Give official notice of when you intend to leave
Declaring your intention on when you intend to leave can help smooth the resignation process by allowing your employer to get the relevant documents and pay processes in order ahead of you leaving.
If you are already aware of your contractual obligations then you should look to follow those in the first instance and set your sights on your final day based around those. Should you require to leave sooner than stated in your contract, request this in your formal resignation letter and in discussion with your Manager to find an agreeable date.
Offer help during your leaving period
Your employer could be caught off guard by your decision to leave them and depending on your profession, your absence within the workplace could disrupt the flow of work and projects you are involved with.
Offering your support to complete certain work before you leave or helping to train others so that they can handle the workload during the period before your replacement can be introduced, can be great ways to build your reputation and not burn bridges.
Supporting your colleagues during this period can make their working lives much easier once you have left, something they will surely appreciate.
Convey your thanks to others
This should be done both in your resignation letter and also where you can in person to the people you wish to thank. Going on the record in your letter to praise certain individuals for the support they have offered you during your time there is a nice way to highlight the work they have done and could get them some well deserved praise.
Taking the time to personally thank them is another nice touch and is recognition which people will surely enjoy receiving. You may come across these people again later on in your working life, positive working relationships always come in useful.
The way you resign can tell a lot about your character. While some people are likely to just quit without any prior warning, this is not a very professional move and could make you look bad. Knowing how to resign from your job properly gives your company the chance to accommodate your needs and find a replacement for you. With these steps, you can move on from your job in the best way possible and with minimal negative repercussions.