Building a solid and strong reputation at your workplace is an important and necessary step in order to move up and have a successful career. Once you’ve put the time in to build strong relationships with your boss and coworkers and build your skill set, it can be difficult to leave your job. However, sometimes you just know that it’s time to leave.
Whether you have a better offer, you are ready to try something new, or you just have to get out, it’s important to make sure that you resign in a respectful way. You never know who your current boss might know at other companies, and it’s a bad idea to burn any bridges. You want to show appreciation for your current job, or at least as much respect as you can muster if you are leaving a bad situation. Here are some tips to help you resign properly.
1. Formalize your resignation
Schedule a meeting with your boss so you can talk about your resignation. Don’t resign through email, unless your boss is on vacation and can’t be reached by phone (and even then, try to schedule a Skype meeting if possible.) Once you have let your boss know that you are resigning, write a formal resignation letter. According to Monster, writing an appropriate letter will help you build relationships and leave in a positive way. Writing a resignation letter shows courtesy that your boss will appreciate. Be sure to include your end date, and a reason for leaving (if appropriate).
2. Give enough notice
Obviously, if you are miserable at your job and you can’t stand another day, you may have to quit immediately. However, if you want to maintain relationships and be able to list your boss or coworkers as references, you should give as much notice as possible. This will allow more time for your boss to find a replacement, and you can also offer to help train or find a replacement as well. Giving as much notice as possible will also help you tie up any loose ends, and will show that you respect your company and that you want to leave amicably.
According to U.S. News and World Report, you shouldn’t give notice until you have formally accepted another job. Also, while giving as much notice as possible is often best, if you are worried about negative repercussions, two weeks might be best.
3. Hold your tongue
Regardless of whether you are leaving immediately or giving notice, and whether you are leaving on positive terms or you absolutely hate your boss and you can’t wait to get out, it’s important to think carefully about the things you say. If your boss asks why you are leaving, and you can give an appropriate answer (such as the fact that you are taking a more advanced opportunity at another company), then you can respectfully say so. However, if you are quitting because you hate your job or your boss, it’s important that you sensor what you say. Even if you think your boss could benefit from some constructive criticism, now is probably not the best time to share it.
4. Maintain your work ethic
While it would be easy to simply skip out on work, or leave work unfinished once you know you have a different job, you should stay professional and finish all tasks. This is the professional thing to do, and it will show your boss and coworkers that although you are leaving, you respect them (and your position) enough to finish what you started. Make it a priority to continue to work hard, attend meetings, and finish projects during your final days at your current company.
If you are leaving for other reasons and you don’t have a new job offer, you still should be respectful and work hard. In this case, it might be even more important to leave on good terms, since you might need the references later.