It happens to the best of us, a job loses its sparkle, you no longer feel challenged enough, you lost out on a promotion and there won’t be another one available for at least another year, you’re having trouble with your manager, your teammates are creating a nasty vibe… Whatever the reason, if you feel it’s time to resign, then resign.
But don’t burn your bridges.
We know – sometimes you might feel so frustrated that you wish you could march into your boss’s office, throw a stack of papers in the air and yell, “I quit!” But keep your temper in check because resigning from your job can be the perfect opportunity to show what you’re made of and strengthen your industry reputation. Here’s what you should know about quitting tactfully:
1. Plan your exit
In the same way that you worked hard to impress your boss during the interview that got you the job offer, it’s important to create a great impression when you’re ready to leave. Know that this is exactly what you want and be graceful about your resignation. Don’t act like a prisoner who’s about to get out on parole. Take note of the following points…
2. Make sure your boss is the first to know
The minute you decide to quit and whisper it to your colleague in the lunch queue, that gossip is going to spread like wildfire. Your boss may be one of the last people to find out, but when this happens, it will be a clear sign of disrespect and/or that you have something to hide. Do the right thing and tell them first. This is a small gesture, but it will go a long way to maintain their respect for you.
3. Communicate your resignation tactfully
Draft a resignation letter that is neat and to the point, letting your boss know that you are resigning and why (again, be very diplomatic and take responsibility for your decision), and when your final day of work will be. Make sure you understand your employment conditions – whether you need to provide a calendar month, two weeks, four weeks, or whether your company will allow you to leave immediately. Factor this into the information you provide in your resignation letter. Hand this letter to your boss directly, but personally state your desire to resign. Again, this sign of respect goes a lot further than slipping the letter onto their desk and simply walking away.
4. Be diplomatic when telling your boss why you’re leaving
Whether you just can’t stand your colleagues anymore or you disagree with your boss’s management style, you don’t like the volume of after-hours work, or you feel your salary is too low, don’t make your decision to leave, the company’s fault. Explain to your boss that you feel you’re more suited to a different environment, you’d like more of a challenge (be very careful with this one), or you’d like to pursue a different line of work. However, don’t lie about your reasons. People in the industry are closely connected to one another and they will talk – just make sure that when they talk about you, it’s for the right reasons.
5. Don’t leave in chaos
There will always be a strategic time to leave your job… and that’s not in the middle of a critical project in which you play a major role. Even if it’s the last thing you do for the company, ensure that you make for a smooth transition between your presence and your absence. If there’s someone to fill your position when you leave, offer to train them up during your notice period.
If you’ve resigned recently, tell us about how you did it and how your boss reacted.
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