Resigning from a job can be stressful, even if you’re leaving to take an opportunity that better meets your career goals. Be sure to resign gracefully and professionally, without burning bridges or harming your reputation in any way.

What to Say

Handle your resignation as carefully and tactfully as you would any other important business endeavor. You never know when you may cross paths with your boss in the future.

  • Emphasize the positive. You don’t need to say much more than you are leaving. Focus on how much you have learned and grown in your current role. Then, note the time has come for you to move on.
  • Be prepared to give reasons why you’re leaving. If your manager has a track record of taking feedback constructively, you can share any factors that made you seek out a new job, such as long hours, low pay or limited advancement potential. Otherwise, explain you were given an offer you couldn’t refuse, the new opportunity fell in your lap or whatever answer will preserve your relationship.

Give Adequate Notice

Two weeks’ notice is the professional convention – unless you have a contract which states otherwise. In certain circumstances, you may want to provide more – or less – notice, but if you’re unsure, use the two-week rule of thumb.

  • If your employer asks you to stay longer, you have no obligation to do so. Your new employer will be expecting you to start as scheduled, and if possible, a few days or a week off is a good idea, too. If necessary, you might offer to help your previous employer after hours, on the phone or by email, until the transition is complete.

About Your Resignation Letter

Don’t resign by letter. Ask for a personal meeting with your boss. But, write and submit a resignation letter for documentation purposes.

  • Keep it short and sweet. This is not the place to get into grievance details. Your resignation letter is another opportunity to stay in good standing with your old employer while paving the way for you to advance your career elsewhere.

Don’t Forget Important Details

Remember to ask about any benefits and salary you’re entitled to as you leave your job. This may include unused vacation or sick pay, or cashing in or rolling over your 401(k) or other pension plan. Also, return any company property, such as keys, phones or computers. You don’t want to be held responsible if this is not done in a timely manner.

A professional career coach can be an invaluable asset as you find and transition into a new job. The Pridestaff Modesto team can help with everything from resume and cover letter preparation to making the right contacts, interviewing, salary negotiation and leaving your current position. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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