How to resign when you change jobs

Written by April O’ Dempsey – Recruitment Consultant (Legal Support) Brisbane, QLD

People change jobs periodically these days and here are some tips you can do to make sure your resignation goes well:

Make sure you tell your supervisor first and preferably in person, but always follow up with an email. Avoid telling anyone else at the firm as news about resignations travel fast.

Make sure you give your full notice period.  You never know when you will need your supervisor/manager to be a referee for you so always leave a role on a good note.  Also, once you have resigned, make sure you use your remaining time to do the work necessary and to complete all of your tasks.

Always tell the truth as to why are you leaving and be prepared to explain your reasons for leaving.  But make sure you explain the reasons without hurting anyone’s feelings and keep it as positive as possible.  If you cannot think of any honest and positive feedback then focus on your new job and why you have accepted this.

If your employer asks you what salary you were offered, be prepared that he/she may want to match this offer or get you a higher offer.  Keep in mind your reasons for wanting to leave and that a counter offer doesn’t usually work out in the long run.

Overall, once you have resigned, it is best that you stay professional and don’t burn any bridges.

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.

Giving Notice

The ‘Golden Rule’ in life is never burn any bridges and this has never been more true when giving notice to your employer. Resigning is a daunting task, even if you have mentally checked out months ago and are more than ready to start your next work chapter.Resignation

It goes without saying that giving notice must be done professionally as you may need your employer to be a referee in the future. To help the nerves, you should always prepare a short and simple resignation letter which should always include:

  • The effective date of your resignation;
  • An explanation of your resignation;
  • The date of your last day of work;
  • A thank you for the opportunities that they gave you.

You should also consider including a positive statement about your employer and/or company and even wish them well for the future. Remember, you always want to leave on good terms. Also, bear in mind that your resignation letter will be kept on your employment file and could be accessed for future reference.

You should always resign in person to your immediate supervisor. Sometimes this may not possible: your supervisor is interstate for work or on annual leave. In those circumstances, it is acceptable to resign in person to the HR Manager. After resigning to the HR Manager, you should send a short email to your immediate supervisor advising them that you have just resigned and attach the resignation letter.

A usual notice period is 1 month. Before drafting your resignation letter, do check your employment contract as some notice periods can be longer or can be as short as 2 weeks.

Having a well drafted resignation letter always makes giving notice less stressful.