One of the most daunting parts of pursuing a new opportunity in the world of work is handing in your notice to your current employer. Although it’s natural to feel nervous about resigning, with the right approach you can leave things on a positive note. Here are our top tips for handing in your notice.
Don’t Make a Rash Decision
When you leave a company, you want to leave on good terms. One sure-fire way to get it wrong is to hand in your notice when you’re feeling angry or upset. Whether you have differences of opinion with other members of your office or you’ve been struggling with work for the past few weeks, leaving a job is a major decision that should not be made lightly.
Try to make every attempt you can to improve your situation before considering handing in your notice. Speak with managers, HR representatives and anyone else in your office who may be able to help. You should only resign after careful consideration, once you’ve worked out rational reasons to move on to a new job. Don’t make your decision after a frustrating or upsetting incident.
Speak to Your Manager Face-To-Face
You should tell your manager before anyone else and you should speak with them face-to-face. It’s a bad idea to write your resignation letter and leave it on their desk or to resign by email, without talking to them first. Book in some time for a private chat with your manager rather than talking in a public part of the office. Remember to be polite and thank them for your time with the company.
Feel free to outline your reasons for leaving but keep the conversation professional. Don’t go into personal grievances with individual colleagues or list every frustration you’ve had with the job. A concise, informative outline is plenty.
Be Ready for a Counter-Offer
If you’re a valued member of the team, be ready for your employer to make you an offer to stay, even if you have another role lined up elsewhere. This can sound very tempting at the time – everyone likes to feel valued – but it’s important not to get carried away and immediately accept whatever you’re offered.
Bear in mind the reasons you wanted to leave the job in the first place. Does the new offer address those problems, or will you still be keen to leave in a few months? Whatever you choose to do, don’t respond to the offer immediately. Take some time, consider your options and make sure your final decision is carefully considered and rational.
Write a Resignation Letter
Once you’ve handed in your notice to your manager, you should write a resignation letter addressed to them. A good resignation letter announces that you’re resigning, specifies the role you’re resigning from, details when your last day of work will be and thanks your manager for the time you’ve spent at the company.
You don’t have to explain your reasons for leaving in your resignation letter. Keep it as concise as possible to ensure there is no misunderstanding about your resignation. Before you write your letter, clarify what your notice period and last day will be. Your notice period will usually be stated in your contract. If it isn’t, two weeks is generally considered an acceptable notice period.
Write a Good Handover Document
One way to leave a good impression is to write a great handover document, but this is easier said than done. You can create a good handover document by listing any regular meetings your role may have related to it, relevant contacts in your company who you work with, what files and folders are needed most often, and any login information needed for work-related websites and programs.
For specific ongoing projects, you should also describe what the project is, the work that needs to be done, arranged deadlines and any other stakeholders involved in the work. This will ensure someone will be able to take on your work with minimal disruption to the company.
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