by Daniel Klaren
It used to be commonplace for people to work at the same company for forty or fifty years until they retired. These days, most of us will change jobs a few times, at least. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker will hold over eleven jobs in a lifetime. Whatever your circumstances may be for leaving – recruited by another company, moving to a new town, or seeking a change of pace or better job – you will want to make sure that you resign from your post in the most professional way possible. The manner in which you leave a company will be the last memory your employer and colleagues have of you – and an unprofessional exit can leave a bitter taste.
1. Advance Warning
Don’t leave your employer in the lurch. The most important point to remember is to inform your employer of the date you will be leaving in plenty of time before your departure, so that your employer may plan to make the necessary adjustments. Two weeks is often quoted as the standard notice required, but realistically this is not much time for an employer to find a replacement. It is better to give your employer as much as notice as possible, especially if you hold a higher level position that will be difficult to replace. Giving your employer last-minute notice is a sure-fire way to create resentment.
2. Personal Communication
Sending your boss a resignation letter or email without any face-to-face communication can come across as cold and impersonal. It is a good idea to break the news to your employer through an in-person conversation, with your formal resignation letter in hand. You don’t want there to be any misunderstandings regarding such a sensitive issue. Speaking in person allows you to more genuinely express your gratitude and your reason for leaving. Having the resignation letter in hand is helpful for the employer because they now have documentation of your resignation to add to your record.
3. Don’t burn any bridges
If you are quitting a job because of problems at work, it may be tempting to uncork your bottled up frustration by lashing out at your fellow employees or simply slacking off on your final projects. Don’t let this be your final impression at work. In today’s electronically connected world, it is impossible to predict how your unprofessional behavior may come back to haunt you, so it is best to leave amicably. Just because it is the end of your tenure doesn’t mean you can slack off or be rude. End things on a positive note and let that be the way your colleagues remember you.
Your professional exit will pay off in the long run.