Resigning from your job can be the toughest part of the process when starting a new role. Is there a right way to resign? Not necessarily, but we do have some advice to help ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.
Understand your company’s policies on resignation
Check in your current contract with regards to clauses entered. If your new start date is in 4 weeks but your current notice period is 2 weeks, wait until 2 weeks as per your contract. You may have a gardening leave period if you are moving to a direct competitor so be aware that you may need to leave the premises almost immediately due to conflict of interest.
When is the ‘right’ time?
Before resigning from your job, wait until you have received official confirmation of your new job offer – in other words, wait until your contract has been signed and you have written proof. Hand your notice in as soon as you can once your new position is confirmed. The more notice you can give your current employer the better, as this gives them time to find a replacement.
Speak with your line manager first and foremost
Your line manager is usually the person you worked most closely with. For this very reason they should be the person you speak with first. Ideally, book a private meeting room with them on a Friday afternoon and be prepared for a positive or a negative reaction. You cannot anticipate how they will react so it’s better to have planned for both scenarios.
What to say?
Plan what you want to say. Get a notepad and write down the main points you want to speak to. Look over this the night before and fine tune how you want to approach each point. Make sure you stick to the main points in the meeting. Avoid any negativity towards the company. Generally, you should keep your conversation about the company positive. It is possible to be polite but firm as to your desire to move on and resist saying anything negative about your current role.
Officially, you will need to submit a letter of resignation. This letter is to confirm you will leave your current position and does not need to include any details of your new role. Keep it short and positive, thanking your employer for the opportunities they have given you.
Offer to make the transition as easy as possible with little disruption. You can do this by playing a part in the plan of making sure the department runs as smoothly as possible after you leave. During your notice period, perform your role to the best of your abilities, and if you have committed to anything in the transition period, be sure to carry out this promise. Help train your replacement if possible. If this is not possible, leave a clear handover document detailing as much information as you can to make it easy for the new person to get up to speed with your duties. The last few weeks in your current position will have a lasting effect on how you are perceived in the organization. It is up to you to form this perception, so make it a good one.
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