How to leave your job with class

by | 27.01.22

There is plenty or advice for how to land a great job around but what about how to resign professionally? Whether you are dissatisfied with your current position, have found something better or are simply ready for a change, resigning can be stressful. Yet, resigning professionally is paramount to keeping a good relationship with your current employer and ensuring they are prepared to provide you with a reference in the future. Here are some tips on resigning from a job with class:

Talk to your boss

Before formalising your resignation in letter form, it is always a good idea to talk to your boss. It is an act of respect to do this. Do not use this meeting as an opportunity to blackmail your boss into giving you an a better salary to stay, that is really not professional. You have to be committed to leaving your job and approach the meeting in order to resign in a professional way. If you have doubts about leaving your job don’t do it. If you think you deserve a pay rise, ask for one don’t resign in order to be begged to stay.   

Write a nice resignation letter

A professional resignation letter is short and direct to the point. Address your letter to your boss. Assuming you have already met with your boss and told them you are leaving the letter will just be a formality. It should firmly state your decision to resign and the date it will take effect. You do not have to state a reason for leaving. Always end your letter thanking your boss for the opportunity they have given you and wishing them well for the future.

Make sure you give sufficient notice

Most contracts of employment will state a months’ notice, this is because  most people are paid monthly. Giving the right notice is crucial, not to work the correct notice could result in you getting a bad reference. Also remember this is not all about you sufficient notice is important as it allows your current employer time to look for a replacement. There may be some circumstances when an employee will let you go before the end of your notice period but that is their choice – not yours – you must adhere to your contract.

Do not bad mouth anyone

It is never a good idea to talk negatively about your boss or your colleagues especially when you are resigning. It can be an emotional time when you resign and sometimes this emotion can spill over, and you can start moaning about your colleagues. Never burn bridges because you never know when your paths will cross again with your boss or any of your workmates and you wouldn’t want to be known as a ‘nasty, spiteful’ person would you.

Do not post on social media you are leaving

Social media has given people a 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 reviewing the latest film you have seen at the cinema. It has a professional undertone that has to be kept private. Posting the fact that you are leaving your job will not validate your decision. It will only trigger people to question “why are you telling us this”, is it that you are boasting about the fact that you can easily obtain a new role, or could it be that you are seeking sympathy and saying “I’ve been so badly treated I’ve had to leave “. Tell your nearest and dearest obviously but keep it out of social media.

Leave a clean desk

If you have decided to resign leave your employer like a true professional. Make sure you complete all remaining tasks or projects you have started. Be responsible and go the extra mile if necessary. Most of all do a good job at it. Do not rush it so you can get out to move to your new job. If your new employer gets a reference from your previous employer which is negative it could affect your future career.

Offer to help your employer during the change over

In addition to completing all unfinished work, offer your assistance in the change over process. Assistance could come in the form of being involved with the training or guiding of your replacement. Make sure you tell your Manager to contact you if there are any queries that occur after you have left. Chances are your employer will decline your offer, but it will most certainly be appreciated and noted.

Tell your colleagues

Once your employer has formally accepted your resignation tell your colleagues. You may already have told them or some of them may have heard from others, but it is important and more professional that you tell them formally. A good way of doing this is to send a group email thanking everyone for their time and support during your employment. This way you will prevent rumours or gossip tarnishing your honest attempt to leave the company gracefully.

Say thank you 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. It could be one of the Directors or a senior Manager who gave you great advice and guidance at some point. If it’s not possible to book an appointment with them or to knock on their office door, send them a little note thanking them for their help and support during employment.

Leaving a job with class and grace is crucial to your future success in the workplace, it will not only secure you a good reference you will be leaving behind a network of people who could possibly help you in your future career. Once your resignation takes effect, life will take a different turn. The routine you have had in your previous job will change. You will have to acclimatise to a new working environment and build new relationships, but it will be challenge.

Good Luck

Angela Burton