On Tuesday I accepted a new job. It was a hard decision. I LOVE my current job but I was offered a position that I couldn’t turn down. I wanted to leave the door open for future opportunities, if necessary.
The following are my pointers if you are planning to leave on good terms:
- Don’t tell anyone before you tell your manager. The last thing you want is for them to find out from someone else.
- Understand what your company requires for notice of your resignation. Some companies need a letter but mine requires you to resign online. Tell your boss before you submit anything because it likely is an automated system that will go to your manager and HR before you’ve had a chance to to talk to them.
- Check your company policies to see how much notice you are required to give. I was required to give at least 2 weeks to be paid my remaining PTO. I asked my new employer if I could give a month notice since there are so many projects that I’m currently involved in. My director appreciated this and I’ll be able to feel better about leaving.
- Tell your boss in person, if possible. If your boss is someone who is hard to find time to meet with, try to schedule a meeting with them as soon as possible. If your boss is located somewhere else, call them rather than sending an email.
- Before you meet with your boss, be prepared to talk about your exit strategy and how you foresee current work and/or projects being handled. Offer to help train coworkers, if possible. I’m staying on PRN (part time, as needed) for a few months to help with a few projects. Be prepared for them to ask you if this is a possibility.
- They may ask you why you are leaving and what it would take for them to keep you. This won’t always happen but you should know what it would take for you to stay.
- Thank your boss for the opportunities you’ve had and try to give specific examples of how they’ve helped you grow professionally.
- Ask your boss not to tell anyone until you’ve had a chance to tell important coworkers and any mentors in person. Tell these individuals in person, if possible, as soon as you can so they don’t hear from someone else.
- Be prepared to be required to leave immediately, depending on your position and the situation. I had a friend that accepted a job with a competitor and he was asked to leave within about twenty minutes due to the nature of his position. Don’t take this personally. If you forsee this being the case, make sure you’ve gone through your personal files, etc.
- Agree to an exit interview, if asked. Be respectful and give honest, constructive feedback. Do not use this time as an opportunity to vent or complain.
- Leave your work area and files neat and clean. Make sure you’ve returned all company property.
- Make sure you understand when your benefits end and when your new benefits start so that you don’t have a gap.
- Update your personal information with HR to ensure you get your tax statements and any other important information in the future.
These are the things I think are helpful to keep a good relationship with your soon-to-be former employer. Remember each situation is different, so what worked for me might not be applicable to your situation but at least it might be a helpful starting place.
What other recommendations do you have for resignation without burning bridges?