Career Counselling and Career Guidance | I'M HIRED

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I Quit! - A Guide on How to Resign Right

I Quit! - A Guide on How to Resign Right

How to say I QUIT in style! 

I recently quit my job and it got me thinking that although the offer of a new job or venture is such an exciting time, the actual process of quitting your current job can be nerve racking and worse feel uncomfortable. 

Why is that? 


Because normally we feel some sort of obligation to that employer and there doesn’t seem to be any set of rules on how to quit a job, who you should tell, when you should tell them and how they are going to react.
Let’s start by saying it’s a process that we might not enjoy but nevertheless one which needs to be completed to move forward, unfortunately you can’t just leave and never return. 

Where to Start?

Go find your contract, it’s probably safely put away in a draw or under your bed in a box where it has lived from the day you received it, be honest have you ever even read it.  Whilst we are on the subject please read your contract in your new role and don’t just blindly sign whatever is put in front of you.

So why are we getting your contract out if your quitting does this piece of paper matter anymore? Yes it does, as we need to find out the terms of your contract and how that affects your resignation. Check your notice and remember most employers will add additions to your notice based on length of service. So although it might say 4 weeks’, double check it doesn’t add an extra week every years after 5 years for example.


Writing your resignation

Writing your Notice

Now sit down and write your notice, address it to your manager and detail the date you are planning to work to with your notice period in mind. It is always a good idea to explain the reason why you are looking to leave your employer whether it is for a new opportunity or if it is for more personal reasons. If it is the latter then it might be more appropriate to ask for a convenient time to speak with your employer in person.

Always remember the purpose of the letter is to effectively end your contract so don’t get tied up in bad mouthing your employer. Most employers will conduct some sort of exit interview which will allow you time to air your feelings and give advice to the employer to support them with any changes for the next employee.
Remember to be honest in your resignation; what have you got to lose at this point. But at the same time this is not a bad break up where you need to rip up their clothes and spray paint their car – let’s be slightly more professional in our honesty.

The Resignation Meeting

The Meeting

So now you have written the notice you need to deliver the message. I would always suggest doing it in the morning, get it out the way and don’t let the worrying or nerves wreck the rest of you day.
When quitting your manager should be the first to know so don’t go round telling everyone and their dog before you make it official. We all love a water cooler gossip at work but when it comes to quitting let your manager know and then the flood gates are open to everyone else.
Ideally you will want to arrange a time to speak with your manager face to face but if not possible in cases where your manager works on another site for example then arrange a phone conversation. Don’t just email your resignation and never never never text your resignation!  (was that enough nevers)

Get to the point, when you have the conversation with your manager, be open and explain why you are looking to leave. It is great if you feel loyal but a good employer will never stop you going for a better opportunity so don’t ever feel you are doing something wrong in your resignation (and if you never liked them anyway try not to gloat too much when you hand your resignation in.)


Arrange an Action Plan for your resignation

After the Meeting

Discuss with your manager what they would like you do next, do they want you to help in the recruitment or training of your replacement or start writing a handover document. Whatever their process set clear deadlines to ensure the handover is smooth and make sure you and the employer have agreed next steps.
Some companies will do an official comms that you are leaving so confirm with your employer how you are going to notify the other team members of your departure. Just be transparent with your employer and make sure you are both on the same page; so your last month can be stress free.

A bit of help

It can be difficult putting pen to paper and writing down your last words to your employer (a bit dramatic to say last words but some of you might be hoping never to speak to them again so it is final) so to help I have put together a short sample of the type of letter you should be sending. Keep it short and sweet.

Dear (Manager’s Name)

I am writing to notify you of my formal resignation from my role as (position) at (company name)

As my contract requires that I give (your agreed notice period) notice my last day of employment will be (last date of employment)

Thank you for all the support you have given throughout my employment but I have been given an excited new opportunity as a (add position if you want them to know) that I have decided to pursue.
OR
I would be grateful for an opportunity to discuss the reasons for my departure in person, please let me know a convenient time to arrange a meeting.

If there is anything I can do to help with the transition, please do let me know.

Sincerely,
I’M Hired

Congratulations on getting yourself hired and good luck with your new position or venture, the countdown of your resignation now begins. 

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