Job Search & Career Advice

Here’s How to Resign from a Job Gracefully

As you define your career journey, you may be at a crossroads where it’s simply time to resign from your current position to pursue new opportunities or to embrace changes in your personal and professional life. Whatever the reason, resigning from a job isn’t always easy and is something that should be handled gracefully. Remember, you always want to leave a company on a high note and keep your professionalism and reputation intact. 

If this is your first time resigning from a job, you might be unsure how to go about it all. While it may be bittersweet as you pursue other opportunities, there are steps you can take to ensure you maintain the goodwill and relationships that you have built with your supervisors and coworkers. 

Tips to Resign Gracefully from Any Job 

Stay in the good graces of your supervisor and leave your job in a positive way. Here are a few tips to get you started. 

Tip #1: Make sure you really want to leave 

Before you make any hasty moves, you want to make sure you reflect on your decision to quit your current role. Weigh out all the pros and cons and come to a proper conclusion that ensures you actually are ready and want to quit. Sometimes, disagreements happen, and frustrations arise, but you want to make sure you have looked at all the options and connected with key people before you make this decision.

You also want to reflect on how it will change your current situation and what impact it will have as you move forward. 

Tip #2: Tell your manager first 

Before you tell your colleagues and other people in the company, you want to go to your manager first and let them know the situation. Your manager might want to discuss more with you about why you’re leaving and when you plan on giving notice. This is important especially if you have become close. Notifying your manager is the professional course of action and will help you avoid ill will.

Additionally, you don’t want rumors or gossip to circulate before your manager knows. Telling your manager in person is best; however, if this isn’t possible, set up a virtual meeting instead. 

Tip #3: Give notice and write a letter 

You will want to write a formal letter to your manager giving them at least two weeks’ notice and an explanation of why you are leaving. It’s good to have these things in writing so that it’s all documented and there is no confusion in the future.

Your notice should also have a section where you thank your manager for the opportunities and all they have done to help you grow in your career. Remember, you want to end on as positive a note as possible. 

Tip #4: Stay dedicated to the end 

Once you have made your decision, talked to your manager and submitted your letter, you might get lazy and slack off for the remainder of time – don’t do this. This period of time is crucial as you train other members of the team to do your projects and hand over your responsibilities. Share anything useful you have learned that has helped you in your role so your team will be able to handle your tasks efficiently when you leave.

Continue to keep your head high and stay positive right until the end. 

Tip #5: Connect with your colleagues 

After you have provided your manager with sufficient notice, you will want to connect with your coworkers and let them know when you are planning to leave. This is important, especially as you have built relationships with them. Give them information on how they can stay in touch and make the effort to stay connected.

You never know when you might encounter them in the future, especially if you are staying in the same industry. Additionally, your coworkers may have become your friends and you will want to keep up the relationships even when you leave.

Tip #6: Return any company property 

Last but not least, if you have been working remotely, you will need to ship or drop off any company property such as laptops, monitors and other equipment that was lent to you while you were at the company. Additionally, if you have any personal belongings left in the office, pack them and take them with you so that you don’t leave any clutter or mess behind.

Download any essential documents you need such as information about your company-sponsored retirement plan or other benefits. 

Whether your exit stems from new opportunities, frustration, or life changes, always keep your composure, and treat everyone with respect. You want to take care of the relationships that you have built, and you never know when you may cross paths with your former employers – especially if you stay in the industry you are in.

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