How to Resign Professionally

15 September 2021

How To Resign Professionally Pen

​​So you just landed your new job, congratulations! You must be ready to pack up your desk and leave it all behind, but wait! Don’t forget you need a clean exit strategy to maintain that professional reputation.

This is something we don’t often think about, everyone wants the top tips to ace the next interview, but what about leaving your current job? Quitting isn’t always a pleasant thought, unlike what we often see on TV, it can be stressful, bittersweet or just plain intimidating.

The resignation process is easy to put off too, easy to rush, or just generally make a mess of, something you don’t want marring your professional reputation. But you aren’t alone, according to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Index 41% of employees are considering leaving their employer as of April. So don’t worry, if you are part of the “Great Resignation” period we are here to help with tips that will keep you in everyone’s good books as you prepare to leave your job.

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Our top tips to resign professionally:

Read the rules

First, you should make sure you are aware of your contractual obligations regarding resignation, the most important being your notice period. Whatever pressure you may have from your new employer to start as soon as possible, it is important not to leave your old colleagues floundering in the wake of your departure. It is professional courtesy as much as contractual to see out your contract.

Don’t hide

Make sure that when it’s time for the resignation conversation with your employer, that you do it properly. Don’t try and hide behind emails when you could be talking face-to-face. Be honest and open, thanking your boss for the opportunity and for the experience you have gained. Going through one door doesn’t mean closing another, so make sure you make the effort to leave on good terms, maintaining a good relationship benefits your professional network for the future.

Stay positive

Never complain to colleagues about your dissatisfaction with your job and definitely do not complain to your prospective employer. The same goes for social media, just don’t. In no way, shape or form should you be bashing your workplace in public. This includes mentioning how excited you are to leave, don’t do it.

When you are asked about why you are leaving get your professional hat on and put a positive spin on your answers. For example, “for a better opportunity” is the ideal answer to “why are you leaving?”

Don’t check out before you leave

It’s easy to fall into slothfulness when you have that new job lined up and let things slide, after all, does it really affect you? The answer is yes it does and more importantly it affects others around you. Hold yourself to the same standard as you did before, you don’t want to slide into bad habits, they may follow you to your new job. Think of your colleagues too, the professional course of action is to wrap up loose ends and prepare them for your departure.

Your recommendation

If you have followed the above advice thus far, then you are in an ideal position to secure a great recommendation from your employer too. Make sure you ask them in person before you go so they associate how they feel about you with remembering your request later on down the road. Make sure you keep in touch too, you may end up working with the same company in future or even want to return. A good working relationship will get you past many barriers and open many doors.

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