Whatever the reason for leaving your current job, there is always a right way and a wrong way to resign!
Leaving with the right level of grace and decorum not only speaks volumes about your character, it also shows potential employers how you can handle sensitive situations professionally and, in certain industries, news really does travel fast.
If you’re thinking of moving on, make sure you’ve properly considered all the possibilities before you consider how to resign. If, however, you’ve made your mind up already, you will most likely have had a detailed conversation about your intentions with your boss.
The only thing left to do is put your resignation in writing:
What to Include
Even if you want to keep it brief, there are some essential pieces of information you need to include:
- Your name
- The date
- The position you’re resigning from
- Addressed to the appropriate person (line manager, supervisor, manager etc.)
- When your resignation will take effect
- Your signature
You are not obligated to include your reasons when resigning, although you should include this if you feel it will be constructive. However, always be sure to put a positive spin on it.
Possible reasons could include: ‘I am moving on to a new position’, ‘I am seeking a new challenge’ or ‘there are limited opportunities for progression’.
Remember: Under no circumstances should your resignation letter become a tirade against your employer. Whatever your feelings, you must remain as professional and as objective as possible. Getting personal will only risk your reputation (even if it seems like a good idea at the time).
Aside from the formal aspect of the resignation letter, you should also use it as an outlet to tie up any loose ends. For example, if you’re leaving in the middle of a specific project or piece of work, you should clearly outline the point you have reached, where the completed work so far is saved, and any other information which may be pertinent to the person taking over.
Ensuring a smooth handover shows your continued commitment to the business, and practically demonstrates your professionalism and dedication to the role. If you’re leaving on good terms, providing your contact information for future enquiries should things go wrong can soften the blow (a nice touch if your work is especially cryptic or difficult to understand).
Before writing your letter, always check your employer’s resignation policy to ensure you’re aware of your notice period. Similarly, it’s important to note that whatever the organisation’s policy on notice period, they are well within their rights to ask you to leave on the day you resign. In other words, if you don’t have another position guaranteed to move on to, think seriously before handing it in.
Finally, when writing your resignation letter, always avoid using slang terminology or anything that could be considered rude or inappropriate, however appealing it may seem. You may be leaving your position, but it’s a very small world!