How To Plan Your Resignation: The Best Strategy

If you’ve received a new job offer then you’ll have probably started to think about how best to leave your job, boss and colleagues behind and move on. Advising your manager and colleagues that you are planning to leave is often a difficult task, leaving you with some weeks of tough times ahead continuing in your role before you finish.

It is always a good idea to make a plan for your resignation to ensure your notice period is as straightforward as possible and to avoid burning bridges with your manager and colleagues for the future. You can focus on the positive steps moving forward, not highlight the difficulties you have in your current role.

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Submit your Notice

Notice periods will be identified in your Contract of Employment and tend to be the same length as your payment frequency. For example if you are paid weekly your notice period will probably be one week; if you are paid monthly you will probably have to work a full month notice. Higher management position may require up to 3 months notice.

Before you start dancing on the roof about leaving, make sure you inform you manager. It is recommended that you speak to your manager in person, and provide confirmation of your resignation in writing. If it is not possible to contact your manager face-to-face or by telephone, then a short, formal letter is sufficient.

Read on: How to Resign Gracefully from Your Job

Meeting with your Manager

Wherever possible do not use the e-mail or send a letter as the first indication to your manager you will be leaving. Arrange some time to talk to your manager. Explain that you have been offered another opportunity and remain diplomatic and positive. You can confirm which company you will be working for but avoiding looking too smug. You can disclose information about your new salary, but you are not obliged to give this to your current employer. Present your letter during the meeting.

Letter or Resignation

Your resignation letter should be addressed to your line manager, and be a short summary advising of your plans to leave. Make sure you include:

  • Name and address of manager;
  • Date letter written;
  • Brief reason for your resignation (a new job offer is a satisfactory reason);
  • Your anticipated last working day;
  • A sentence thanking your manager and colleagues for their input.

Avoid writing too much about your new position, specifically do not state how much better you expect the next role to be. Be diplomatic and do not point out the faults of the company or any specific individual in any resignation letter as remember you may need to seek references from this company or individuals in the future.

Good Work Ethic

Just because you are leaving does not mean you should be slacking. Continue to arrive on time and do a full day’s work. Avoid being drawn into conversations discussing the company negaitively and do not gloat to co-workers about how much better your life will be in the future. Keep your head down and do as much as you can to make the change-over period for you and the current company as smooth as possible.

Read on: Top 3 Tips to Leave Your Job Without Burning the Bridges

Clear Desk Policy

Take some time to clear your desk and produce an effective hand-over for any new starters or to hand projects over to colleagues. Copy your manager into any handover e-mails or provide a list of main points and contacts to your manager, and assist in helping your successor to continue effectively. Whatever your working relationship has been with your manager, making their life easier during this transition period will indicate your professionalism.

Exit Questionnaire

Your manager should write to you confirming receipt of your notice, agreeing your last working day and any annual leave you have accrued.

You may be asked to attend an Exit Interview with a member of HR or complete an Exit Questionnaire. These are used by the company to review their existing policies and improve their staff retention, so be honest. However be diplomatic in your responses and avoid personal insults about individuals, or being overly negative, and certainly do not gloat about your new position.

Leave in a positive light, not under a dark cloud, and you will be remembered for your professionalism and positive attitude.

Photo by: Doug Noll

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