We’ve all seen the dramatic scenes on TV where the employee storms into the CEO’s office, yells “I QUIT” and subsequently speeds away from the office, usually in a convertible. While we have given them a mental fist bump for ‘sticking it to the man,’ in reality this resignation technique isn’t typically recommended.
Not only due to the fact that real life and the lives of TV characters are pretty different, but also because it would be a pretty sure-fire way to ruin your professional reputation. Regardless of your feelings towards your current workplace, you might want to work within the same industry or for a similar business – and it really is a small world. Plus, you’ll probably need a reference at some point, and if you go out with a bang, it’s pretty unlikely that any former boss will be able to paint you in a positive light.
Even if you’re not planning a grand exit, the thought of resigning can still be stressful – especially if you’ve been with the company for several years. Here are tips for taking the right approach to resignation and keeping your current employer on side for future references.
Make sure you double and triple-check the terms of your contract BEFORE you agree a new start date with your employer. Things you might miss are extended notice period depending on how long you’ve been with the company. Other factors you should also check are policies on working for other companies who are affiliated with the company in any way or competitor brands. It would be a bit of an anti-climax to hand in your notice only to be told you shouldn’t have accepted the role as you’re breaking the terms of your contract.
There’s not much room for backpedaling once you’ve handed in your resignation and your employer knows that you want to move on to a new challenge. If you are offered a new role verbally or informally, then make sure you have a formal job offer sent to you which includes your start date and salary details.
While you may want to share your excitement with a coworker, it’s important – not to mention respectful – to ensure that the first person who knows about your resignation is your manager. Once you’ve had the chat with your direct manager, ask how he/she wants to proceed in terms of informing the rest of the company and also any clients that you have relationships with. Causing clients to panic and jump ship is definitely not the way to leave a lasting, positive impression on the business! Also, be conscious of what you do online – we are going back to the good old digital footprint again. Don’t start connecting with all of your new colleagues on LinkedIn or posting about your excitement on social platforms until your boss is in the know.
You shouldn’t use your departure from the company as an excuse to slack off or even worse – gossip. All you’ll do is irritate the remaining employees and discredit your professionalism, after all – you are a fully-fledged employee until your last day and your workload and efficiency should be maintained up until that point.
Your last responsibility to your boss, colleagues and the company that you work for is to make sure that your departure is a smooth transition and that they aren’t left in a pickle after you leave. As we mentioned above, this means maintaining a good pace of work right up until the moment you leave, as well as handing over any projects or tasks you are responsible for.
Even if you’re excited to be leaving, your employer gave you a shot when you applied for the role and you’ve been part of the company ever since. Be appreciative of the opportunity, the things you’ve learned and the people you have met along that day. After all, former colleagues make up a significant part of anyone’s professional network and often lead to future recommendations. If this made you feel a whole lot better about the prospect of handing in your resignation, then have a gander at the rest of our blog which includes lots of useful tips for starting a new job.