The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here. You’re starting your new position at your new company. You’ve signed the offer letter and you’ve received your start date. Now, it’s time to resign from your current position.
So, why are you leaving? Is it because you’ve had enough of your bad boss, you can’t stand the toxic culture any longer, or there’s no room for promotion or growth?
While there are dozens of reasons to leave a company in pursuit of something better, there is only one way to leave without burning any bridges: keep those dozens of reasons to yourself.
Regardless of how much you might hate your job, here’s the best way to resign on good terms.
Keep The Details Short and Sweet
Before you speak to your manager or anyone else, decide the best way to explain that you’re leaving. The trick is to keep the details minimal and to focus on the positive. You don’t have to tell your manager, or anyone else, the specific company you’re going to next, and you certainly don’t have to explain why you’ve come to the decision to leave. Keep it general. And, be sure to be consistent in your story to avoid any rumors or false information floating around.
Tell Your Manager In-Person
Even if your manager is the reason for your departure, keep in mind that the way you leave is the way you’ll be remembered. So, how you tell your boss and what you say is equally important.
Unless absolutely impossible, tell your boss face to face that you’ve decided to resign and keep your spill brief and concise. Thank your boss for the opportunity to grow and develop in your position. Then, give your two weeks’ notice and let your manager know the specific date you will be leaving.
When discussing your last day, you can say something like: “I wanted to inform you that I’ve accepted a position at an [industry] company and my last day will be [specific date].” Or, you can say: “I’ve accepted an opportunity that will allow me to focus more on [something exciting you’ll be able to do in your new position] and my last day will be [specific date].”
To wrap up the conversation, include how you plan to transition your responsibilities. You can even offer to create a transition document that lays out how to perform your most important day-to-day tasks.
Prepare for The Good & The Bad
How will you respond if your boss requests for you to stay longer than two weeks? If you’re presented with a counteroffer will you take it? What will you need to have prepared ready to go, if you’re asked to leave immediately? Know the answers to these questions before you have the conversation with your manager.
If you know you’re not willing to stay longer than two weeks, or your required amount of time, be prepared to politely decline the offer, without rambling. If a counteroffer sounds enticing, determine beforehand under which elements you will stay. Then, ask yourself if the opportunity presented itself would it be worth staying at the company.
On the other hand, if you know there’s a possibility that you could be asked to leave immediately, especially if you’ve accepted a position at a competitor company, back up any projects and essentials that belong to you and be prepared to turn everything else over.
Write a Resignation Letter
Draft a resignation email to send to your manager after the conversation. Your email should recap the details of the conversation, including your gratitude for the positon, your last day, and your offer to help transition. Send your email to your manager and HR. If you have any questions about compensation and unused benefits, be sure to include it in your email as well.
Here’s an example of what you could say:
Notice of Resignation: [Your Name]
Hi [manager’s name],
I’ve truly appreciated my time at [company] thus far, and wanted to inform you that my last day will be Friday, May 23.
My time here has been rewarding and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been able to experience during my tenure.
I wish you and the company all the best and if I can be of any help during the transition, please let me know. I would be more than happy to assist and will provide any support I can over the next two weeks.
Chat with Mentors & Allies
Now that you’ve told your manager and sent your resignation letter, schedule individual meetings with mentors and colleagues who have supported and championed your growth. Let them know the specific date you will be leaving and why you’ve decided to move on. But, be sure to still keep the details positive and at a minimum. Also, exchange the best contact information so that you’ll still be able to keep in touch once you leave the company.
Finally, your official resignation notice is not clearance for you to throw in the towel. If you want to leave on good terms without burning any bridges, do whatever you can to make the next person’s life easier by tying any loose ends on projects you still need to complete and by making the transition as smooth as possible.
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