Whether you are moving to a better job or have an issue with your current employer, resignation signifies the end of a chapter in your career and the beginning of a new one. But for now, you have to attend to the process of resignation before you can move forward. And regardless of the circumstances, you have to resign from a job politely.
Resignation is not merely the act of foregoing work. It is a process that is stipulated in your employment contract. Its purpose is to formalize the final status of your employment with the company so both parties can move forward. It is also a way for both parties to end the relationship amicably as professionals.
Here are smart tips to resign from a job politely:
1. Talk to your supervisor or manager
Before formalizing your resignation in letter form, it is always a good idea to talk to your supervisor or immediate manager. It is an act of good faith and will always leave a great impression. It also shows you respect their position and the provisions in your employment contract. Do not use your meeting as an opportunity to derive a better salary or benefits. You have to be committed to resignation and approach the meeting as the venue to end the engagement in a professional manner.
2. Craft a well-written resignation letter
A professional resignation letter is short and direct to the point. Address your resignation letter to your supervisor or immediate manager. Assuming you had already met and discussed your resignation, the letter will just be a formality. It should firmly state your decision to resign, the date it takes effect and if you have pending work. You should not be compelled to state the reason of your resignation. Always end your resignation letter with a statement of appreciation and well-wishes. If you need some inspiration, there are professionally made resignation letter samples you can use as references for your own.
3. Give your employer sufficient notice
Most employment contracts will state a notification period of 30 days before your resignation will take effect. Sufficient notice is important for the company to look for a replacement, proper endorsement of responsibilities, training period and for you to secure clearance. There may be circumstances that the company will let go of you before the 30 days period has run its course. But it is always advisable to stay true to the provisions stated in your contract.
4. Do not bad mouth anyone
It is never a good idea to talk negatively about another person and this is especially true when you are resigning. You can be overcome with emotion and allow it to spillover by talking ill about other people. In the first place, it will not make your situation better. Second, it will leave a bad impression with your employer. And third, it is a small industry. You should never burn bridges because you will never know when your paths will cross again.
5. Do not post about it in social media
Social media has given people false sense of empowerment. Remember that once you post content, it is there forever. Even if you delete it, someone may have already taken a screenshot. Your new employer may see it and find it in poor taste. Your decision to resign is not the same as posting about your lunch or review of the latest Hollywood movie. It has a professional undertone that has to be kept private. Posting about resignation will not validate your decision. It will only trigger sympathy votes that will not benefit you in your next career.
6. Finish all tasks
If you have decided to resign, leave the company like a true professional. Make sure you complete all remaining tasks and responsibilities. Most of all do a good job at it. Do not rush it so you can get out and move to your new job. If your new employer should check your references you would not want to leave a bad impression with your previous employer.
7. Offer assistance in the turnover process
In addition to completing all unfinished work, offer your assistance in the turnover process. Assistance could come in the form of being involved with the training or guiding the replacement through your scope of work. Inform your supervisor to contact you “for anything”. Chances are the company will decline your offer but it will most certainly be appreciated.
8. Submit your resignation letter in person
Once you’ve completed your resignation letter, submit it in person. You are normally required to submit 2 resignation letters. The first one is to your immediate manager or supervisor. The second will be addressed to Human Resources. Always carry a third one as a receiving copy. Make sure your supervisor and the representative from Human Resources gets to sign the receiving letter.
9. Inform your colleagues
When the company has formally accepted your resignation letter, formally advice your colleagues of your status. You may have already told them or some may have heard it from others. But it is more professional that the confirmation came from you. If the company has suspended your company webmail, send a group e-mail thanking everyone for their time and support. This way, you could prevent rumors or gossip from tarnishing your honest attempt to leave the company graciously.
10. Show gratitude to the most influential
If possible, take some time to personally visit those people in the company who are the most influential or who have helped you in your career. This could be one of the people in top management or someone who gave you great advice and guidance. If it is not possible to book an appointment with them, you can send them a token of your gratitude and attach a well-intentioned letter.
Once your resignation takes effect, life will take a different turn. The routine you’ve maintained during the term of your previous employment will change. You will have to acclimatize to a new working environment and build new relationships.
But one thing remains the same. In every new employment or career, a process for resignation will exist. You must always respect and uphold it as a true professional. That is the smartest way to resign politely.