Leaving Your Job? How to do it gracefully

Resigning is very stressful.  Regardless of the circumstances – if you dislike your current job, or your supervisor, or colleagues – most people become anxious about giving the news.   There are two factors at play – the fact that you are in effect rejecting someone and the fear of how that might make them feel, and the knowledge that you will, unless your employer asks you to leave early, have to work out a notice period in a job you don’t want to be in anymore.Leaving-your-job

It is often the case that once someone starts looking for another job they have mentally ‘checked out’ of their current job,  so the time between making that decision, looking for roles,  accepting another role, resigning and working out your notice can often be long.

  • The most important thing is to remember that you are still employed, and being paid, by your current employer.  Maintain your composure and continue to work in the best interests of the firm – don’t forget you will probably be wanting a reference and the best way to ensure a good one is to be responsible.  Even if you have done a great job in the past, if you drop the ball in your notice period that will be lasting impression for your employer.
  • Resign in person.  Write a resignation letter, but give it to your employer in person.  Yes, it’s hard and uncomfortable – however emailing a resignation, unless your employer is away and you can’t wait, is just rude.
  • Your resignation letter should be short – there is no reason to go into detail about the reasons.  Once something is in writing it is hard to take it back.  A wise person once said ‘Don’t do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset’.
  • Give the appropriate amount of notice – even if it’s three months!  If you want to shorten the notice period say so, but the notice period is a legal requirement of your contract. Taking leave as part of your notice is not acceptable without your employer’s express consent.
  • Depending on the circumstances of your role, and if it is possible with your new role, offer to be available to assist with telephone queries for the team or your replacement. It is a small gesture that will provide much goodwill.
  • Try not to talk incessantly about your new job and how fantastic it is going to be, or how much more money you are earning.  That will just tick everyone off.
  • Finally, make sure you don’t leave a mess behind – clean out your desk and remove all your personal belongings

Now – approach your new role with nothing but a positive attitude.