Resigning from a job can be a daunting experience, whether you are leaving for a new opportunity, returning to school full-time, or taking a break. It is important to inform your supervisors, colleagues, and clients of your departure in the most gracious way possible, without burning any bridges. Here is how you can have a professional resignation conversation with ease:
1. Tell your manager first
Before sharing the news with anyone else, inform your manager in a private meeting be it online or in person. Keep the conversation positive and simple, explain the reason for your departure, and avoid negative feedback.
If you are on good terms and the reason for your departure is not connected with negative sentiment, it’s possible that your manager propose a counter-offer to keep you at the company. If that occurs, do your best to remain calm and let them know you’ll think things over and get back to them within 24–48 hours.
2. Choose a suitable leaving date
Check your contract to know how much notice you need to give before departing, and talk with your manager about which date is best to be your last day before agreeing to a particular start date with your new employer. Leave at a time that makes sense to tie up all loose ends and major projects. You should do your best to keep the conversation as positive as possible in order to leave on good terms while also explaining why you are leaving. If you have specific negative feedback, instead of voicing it during this meeting, wait until your exit interview or a chat with your supervisor closer to your departure date.
3. Write a resignation letter
Submit a resignation letter to your boss after having a chat with them. Keep it short and polite, including details such as your position and the date of your last working day. Mention good experiences you’ve had with the company and end the letter on a positive note.
4. Continue to put in your best at work
You may need to depend on your former employers for future references, and doing a shoddy job while exiting the company will reflect poorly upon you. Continue to be enthusiastic about your work right up to the day you leave.
5. Thank your manager and team for the opportunities you’ve had
Thank your superiors for the time they have invested in you and ensure that you thank everyone on your team for their help and say a proper goodbye. Make them feel appreciated and valued.
6. Facilitate a smooth handover process
Prepare a handover document detailing the valuable information you know about your clients, projects, and processes, and walk your successor through any complicated processes they need to be familiar with. This will help them learn the ropes quickly and help the team remain productive.
7. Prepare for your exit interview
Discuss in detail any feedback during your exit interview on your last day or week of work. Be professional and honest in your feedback. If there are specific negative points that need to be addressed, do your best to remain as neutral and calm as possible and to discuss these matters. The goal for the conversation should be to provide constructive criticism the company can use to learn and grow rather than venting, grouching, or gossiping.
Signing off properly from a place you spent a considerable amount of time in is a good way to leave a lasting positive impression on your former supervisors and colleagues. Tie up all loose ends, prepare a handover document, and say a fond farewell to everyone at the office on your last day.