How you resign from your job is important. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you’ve informed your manager of your intention to leave that it ‘doesn’t matter anymore’ … you are judged until the minute you leave the building on your last day!
Tips and advice:
Before you resign, forward any personal emails to your personal account.
If there are messages you don’t want your employer to see, delete them from your sent items and remember to empty the trash folder too.
Make an appointment to speak with your manager and tell him/her in person that you are resigning. Then provide your resignation in writing. Don’t just send them an email without the courtesy of speaking to them directly.
Usually very little will be gained by being brutally honest about your reasons for leaving. If your manager is a complete jerk, now is not the time to tell him. Don’t let it become personal or combative. If all you can think of is ‘I just found a new opportunity that provides more challenge and an increase in remuneration’, then leave it at that.
Check your employment conditions to confirm the amount of notice required. Always give the correct amount of notice; however if you would like to leave earlier, perhaps say ‘I will work the required notice, so as not to let you down or leave you in the lurch. However, if you do feel you can do without me before then, I would be happy to negotiate a shorter notice period’.
Keep coming in on time and maintain your productivity. There is nothing worse than an employee who has resigned and refuses to ‘pull their weight’ because it doesn’t matter any longer. You will be judged right up until the minute you leave the building on your last day, so maintain your professionalism.
Don’t start rallying your co-workers to join you on the other side! As tempting as it may be, depending on your role/industry, wait until you have left the company. If a co-worker approaches you about joining your new company, fine, but don’t start encouraging your colleagues to jump ship. It’s not a good look and you don’t want that lingering in your background checks.
Be helpful! If they recruit someone else and you are asked to do a handover, don’t sit there telling the new person all the problems, as you see them, in the company. The person has just accepted a new role and doesn’t need your negativity or angst on their shoulders during a stressful induction period. If you’re right, they will find out on their own; you don’t need to shove it down their throat. And you can bet they’ll tell management what you said, and again, it could be mentioned in future reference checks.
Similarly, be helpful during handovers. Don’t deliberately leave information or processes out so it makes it harder for the new person. Whether you like your manager or not, this new person has done nothing to you. How would you like it if you are treated the same way in your new job.
Be gracious and pleasant. At some point you enthusiastically took this job and they have paid you for your services ever since. Don’t be obstructive or ill mannered now that you have one foot out the door. It’s almost over, but the way you behave after resigning will be remembered for a long time to come.