If you’re thinking of kick starting 2016 with a new role – congrats!
While you may be excited, it’s important to nail the art of resigning gracefully to ensure your team members and employer is looked after on the way out.
Past employers can one day be your future clients – so it pays to ensure everyone is happy with your next step or promotion.
Before you resign
Have you taken the opportunity to be open with your employer about what you dislike about the role? Sometimes, despite best intentions, managers can miss the elements which are crucial to your enjoyment.
Before you hand in your notice, ask yourself: if X was resolved, would I stay? If the answer is yes, consider how to have a constructive and transparent discussion with your employer to improve the situation?
If you are unable to find a solution together with your manager, you may be able to finish up your role relatively quickly and move on from the business or another role within the current environment (if you enjoy the workplaces’ culture independent of your role).
If the answer is no, regardless of any changes – then clearly it’s time to move on.
Handing in your notice
For the sake of a positive relationship, always hand in your notice in person, or if you work remotely, over the phone. Articulate the value the organisation has delivered to you professionally, the learnings you’ve taken from the role, and what you are looking to achieve next in your future role.
Use this opportunity to thank your employer for the contribution they have made to your professional development. (If the workplace or role was not as you had envisaged, acknowledge the learnings you have taken on board as a result – you always learn something – even from roles you dislike.)
Discussing in person also gives you an opportunity to discuss the end date and letting colleagues and clients know. Follow this up with a note in writing, stipulating your end date as discussed so it has been formalised and can be communicated with the senior team.
Be flexible with your end date
Be willing to be flexible before you speak with your Manager about moving on. Keep in mind they may have client requests and projects to manage independent of your immediate role.
Once you explain that you have found a new opportunity and have thanked them for having you on board, it’s always nice to offer to stay until they find a solution (within reason).
Keep engaged during your notice period
The most challenging aspect of leaving a role is sometimes staying engaged during your notice period. (While you may be VERY over your workplace – your current employer doesn’t need to know this.)
Behaving unprofessionally or speaking in a negative matter in the workplace during your notice period is a HUGE no no.
Put your colleagues and clients needs ahead of yours for the short notice period and get on with leaving a faultless hand over.
While you may have been a star employee during your time with them, the way you interact during your hand over period will in fact deeply influence the way your to be former employee speaks of you in future. Think of those referee checks – and stay focussed. It’ll pay of long term.