Resignation is significant because it marks a turning point in your career. Whatever the circumstances were which led to this decision will change your life over the next 15-30 days. Thus, resignation is never easy. Regardless, you must always make it a point to end your tenure with dignity, honor and utmost professionalism.
Here’s an infographic with the 10 best ways to resign with professionalism. If you find this infographic useful, feel free to embed it on your website or share it on your social media accounts.
1. Resign on a Friday
Believe it or not, choosing the day you tender your resignation needs some thought and purpose.
It appears that Friday is the preferred day for submitting resignations for a number of reasons:
- The ensuing weekend gives everyone involved time to regroup and prepare for the transition period which begins the following week.
- Work activity is winding down; everyone is less stressed and chances are, your superiors are more condescending.
- Strategically, if you have health insurance with your employer and you resign within the first two Fridays, it could already be paid up for the month.
2. Be prepared
Before you finalize your plans to resign, take some time to review your work contract and other employee documents which you signed.
You may have overlooked key provisions in your contract that may inhibit your resignation at least for a specified period of time. These include non-competing or exclusivity clauses which may have impact your future employment with another company.
Make sure you have all company-issued materials available and ready for turnover. These include ID’s, office keys, training materials and other confidential documents.
3. Be polite
Regardless of your relationship with your direct manager and the company, always remember conduct yourself in a professional manner up to your final day at work.
Set aside all your differences and realize that your resignation is the start of your new career. Moving forward, everything that had transpired between you and your employer will have no bearing on your future. Do not use your resignation as a medium to air your grievances. Remember, your future employer will most likely call your previous employer as part of their due diligence process.
4. Provide reasons
A resignation signifies a declaration that one party wants to end a relationship with the other party. If you put that in the same context as an intimate relationship, you should understand why it is important to give reasons for your resignation.
Contrary to popular belief, management teams are concerned when one of their people tenders a resignation. It triggers concerns on their culture and questions on their ability to manage the needs of their people. When management receives a notice of resignation they want feedback which is their way of addressing pending issues in the company which they may have not seen.
When you provide reasons, you are giving management an opportunity to make things right in the organization, if it agrees with your sentiment. Nevertheless, when indicate your grounds for leaving it is always taken as a sign of respect and a show of professionalism.
5. Give plenty of notice
Most employment contracts require a termination notice of 15 to 30 days. The reasons are to give your employer time to find a replacement and for you to turnover all pending work to the new employee.
Regardless, it is always advisable to give your employer more than enough time to make the necessary changes. The transition period to a new employee is very important as this covers recruitment, selection, training and orientation.
Management will view this as a sign of courtesy and consideration and may even reward you with a sterling recommendation to assist in your quest to find new employment.
6. Don’t slack off
One of the biggest mistakes resigning employees make is to take their foot off the pedal and turn in substandard work during their last few weeks in the office.
It is a poor depiction of character and it may get you back when your prospective employer decides to contact your direct supervisor.
Always perform to the best of your abilities even after you have tendered your resignation. It is not just about stamping your worth as an exceptional employee but it becomes genuine reflection of who you are as an individual.
7. Inform your direct supervisor first
It is always a good idea to inform your direct supervisor or manager first of your intention to resign simply because this pays respect to the organization hierarchy.
Your direct supervisor is also in charge of your team or department and advising him first will give him enough time to set up the contingency measures to accommodate your departure.
If over the years you have developed a great relationship with your direct supervisor, informing him first on your resignation is a strong sign of respect.
8. Proper endorsement of responsibilities
There are employees who leave remaining work pending once they have resigned because they feel it no longer concerns them.
Proper endorsement includes organizing all work-related materials and documents and reviewing these with the incoming employee and with the remaining members of your team or department. In most cases, the resigned employee works through these with the incoming employee as part of the training and orientation process.
The idea behind proper endorsement is to ensure continuity of work. You want to make sure that the person who will replace you is capable enough to take over your former set of responsibilities.
9. Thank your boss and co-workers
If there were tensions between you, your boss and co-workers, your resignation ensures these are already in the past. Move forward and beyond the animosity; become the bigger man and show your appreciation to them for the years, or months, spent working together.
The worst thing you can do is add more fuel to the fire by openly or blatantly showing your disdain for management and your former co-workers. The worst thing that can happen to you if you extend the courtesy of a “thank you” is a snub but that is a poor reflection on them and not on you.
10. Treat the exit interview as a formality not a therapy session
The purpose of the exit interview is to two-fold: to give the employee the opportunity to speak his mind and for management to solicit feedback.
It is a means of achieving closure and for both parties to move forward. It is not a venue for either party to point fingers, deflect blame and impose his will on the other.
Approach the exit interview as a formal way of tendering your resignation to management.
In certain respects, resignation symbolizes a re-birth in your career. Resigning with professionalism intact ensures your transition to a new career and a new life will be smooth and painless.