Resignation – Own it or Regret it

by | Oct 11, 2013 | Career Help

Choosing to leave your job, for whatever reason, can be a stressful and emotional affair.  And the way you go about resigning can impact on your future career path.  So here’s some advice to help you resign respectfully.

1. Tell Your Boss First

Whether you chose to resign from your current job because of some negative aspects of your workplace environment or because an outrageously good job opportunity has come your way, you will probably be tempted to share your decision to resign with friends and trusted peers.

Recruiters advise that this is a big mistake. The news of your intended-resignation may reach your boss before you can officially tell him/her. This can lead to your boss feeling disappointed in you, thinking you are being disloyal and may cause resentment.  Regardless of whether your boss has been good, bad or indifferent to you, he/she deserves to know that you are leaving the job before anyone else. So officially tell your boss the news before he/she hears it from others.

2. Leave on a Positive Note


If your boss gave you a hard time, it would definitely feel liberating to submit your letter of resignation. If you are leaving because you’ve secured a much better job, you might be feeling smugly proud of yourself!  Don’t let your excitement become interpreted as arrogance by your existing co-workers.

Regardless of all the wonderful things you may have accomplished in your position, it will be the most recent things that your co-workers will remember most about you.  So try your best to be as positive as you can around the workplace before you leave.

3. Take the Last Talk Professionally

The last talk with your boss and/or the HR usually involves an exit interview. Some people take this as an opportunity to blurt out all their stored-up grievances in an attempt to present an ‘eye-opening’ account of your resignation. The fact is that if your boss, the human resources department and/or the upper management did not understand your issues when they first occurred, there is a good chance nothing is going to change even after you leave. Leave on professional note by giving suggestions in how the company/business can improve instead of avenging your feeling and emotions. Remember you are moving on and still want to gain respect and a good reference.

4.  Don’t Reveal Future Details

It may be tempting for you to reveal your future job details such as the salary and title. The human resources department may even ask you for such details as a guise ‘to improve their remuneration practices’. Don’t fall for this.  You have no obligation to disclose these.

5. Be Ready to Move On

Entering a new workplace means that you need to adjust to new people, tasks and environments. This can be emotionally stressful, particularly if your previous position was long-term.  Although your old work-mates will probably miss you, in a few weeks they will have adjusted to your absence. So it will be time for you to focus on your future and make the most of your new job opportunities.

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