How To Resign With Grace

Congratulations, you’ve just accepted a job offer!  While it may feel like the hard part is over, figuring out how to quit your current job can be even more challenging.  After all of your time there, it can be difficult to know how to approach the conversation.  Even though you may be unsure of how to resign, keep in mind that your actions in your final days will leave a lasting impression.  In order to resign with dignity, follow these steps to leave on a positive note:

Prepare a resignation letter

While you must deliver the note in person, this letter—which should be signed by you—signals the end of your employment contract on paper.  Keep in mind that this letter doesn’t need to be long-winded; simply state that you’ll be leaving the organization, when your last day will be, and end with a ‘thank you.’

Schedule a time to chat

If you aren’t able to approach your boss casually, schedule a fifteen minute meeting to give them your resignation letter in-person.  During this conversation, it is best to re-state your points in the letter by letting them know that you’ve received a job offer, and inform them of when your last day will be.

Give ample notice

While this isn’t always up to you, keep in mind that common courtesy implies that you should give at least two weeks’ notice when leaving a position.  Depending on the scope of your responsibilities, you may want to consider giving 1 to 2 months’ notice instead.  This is ultimately up to your new employer, but be sure to do your best to respect your current employer and create an easy transition for them.

Help with a smooth transition

Like most positions, you know best what your successor will need to succeed.  In order to end your tenure on excellent terms, set up the next employee for success in your final weeks.  While it can be easy to check out, be sure that you work to lessen the burden of your departure. By organizing your files and writing down specific instructions, you can ensure that your team will not falter when you leave.

Explain how they could improve

If you’re given an exit interview, be sure that you are honest about your experience at the organization.  Now that you’re on your way out, remember that you could help improve the experience of the coworkers you’re leaving behind.  When speaking about your own experience, try to offer solutions as to how the organization could have kept you more satisfied at work, and avoid being overly negative while you’re speaking.

Say thank you

Regardless of your feelings toward your employer, a simple thank you goes a long way.  Whether you like them or not, this employer did hire you and pay you for your work—something that, at the very least, warrants a ‘thank you.’  Plus, you never know when you may need their help in the future.  By leaving them with a lasting positive impression, you can set yourself up for greater success down the road.