How to Leave Your Job Like A Pro

How to Leave Your Job Like A Pro

When you’ve decided you’re leaving your current role, it might be tempting to get out the party balloons and obnoxiously declare your intentions to go to anyone in the vicinity. However, there are ways to leave with grace that mean you don’t leave a bad impression, jeopardise your sparkling reference or burn your bridges completely.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to exit your current situation with professionalism and style.

Consider Why You Are Leaving Your Current Job

We all get glum in our work some days, but do you really want to leave? Don’t quit a job in anger. Even if something terrible has happened at work, keep your cool and think about what to do after a good rest. Sometimes, when things get heated, you can make a bad decision and regret it.

If you’ve been thinking of leaving for a while, perhaps because you’re not challenged any more, you’ve repeatedly been passed over for progression and you’ve already had the conversation with your boss, then you can start the process of applying for new roles with confidence.

Get the Offer

Now you’ve decided to leave, you have all the fun of looking for new jobs, applying for positions and attending interviews. Once you’ve nailed the recruitment process, it’s time to get a firm offer in writing.

Once you have this, you’re in a solid position to hand in your letter of resignation.

Draft Your Letter

A letter of resignation needn’t be War & Peace. Keep it polite and simple.

The basic structure is:

  • Dear + boss’s first name
  • State that this is your letter of resignation from your current role
  • Put the date of your intended final day
  • Give a reason, but don’t go into too much detail or write everything on your mind. A line that explains you’ve been offered a new opportunity that has come at the right time is enough. You don’t have to express all your annoyances here.
  • Thank them for the opportunities you’ve received in your current position.
  • Offer to assist with training whoever is going to be taking on your role
  • Sign off politely

Type up the letter and print it off. The intended recipient should be your line manager if you work for a large company with a hierarchy. Otherwise, address it to the owner of the company.

Keep It To Yourself

Between receiving your firm offer and handing in your notice, you need to keep schtum. It looks bad if your boss is left to find out from others, and also it can make things feel awkward.

Ask to See the Boss

It’s kinder to hand your notice in person if possible. Of course, in some cases it’s not possible. If the boss is away for a fortnight, then you need to hand it to your HR department, or you’ll be waiting two weeks longer to start your new job.

Book a meeting at an appropriate time when you know you’ll have their ear and they won’t be too stressed.

Work Your Notice Period

It’s the law that employees work the notice period stipulated on their contract. While you won’t go to prison for walking out, it doesn’t show you in the best possible light, and may affect you getting a reference – something your new employer needs and might be an important condition of your new role.

In some cases, companies don’t like you to hang around, especially in an environment where you’re exposed to customer data, and so you may be escorted out of the premises. Be prepared for this eventuality. You’ll be put on so-called “Garden Leave” where you’ll still get paid, but you’ll wait out your notice period at home. You won’t be able to contact your clients during this time to say goodbye. This can be quite sad if you have a good relationship with them, but you will effectively get a month’s paid holiday. The employer has the right to call you back any time, so don’t book any flights to Marbella just yet, and make sure you are contactable.

Train Your Replacement

Replacing an employee is a lot of hard work for a company, so make it as easy as you can by offering to help train colleagues, or assist in the recruitment process. Your boss may be grateful to have you help write down your duties so they know exactly what to advertise for, or perhaps they don’t want you involved at all. Respect their wishes, but always be amenable.

Organise Your Handover

Create a handover pack for whoever takes over your role with a list of your responsibilities, guidance notes and any passwords and links to files. Finish all the work you can, and make notes about where things are up to with tasks/client conversations. This way, colleagues are not left confused or hanging, and the client will experience a smooth transition.

Prepare Your Goodbye Drinks…

You’ve got to your last day, so why not celebrate after you clock off for the final time? You or one of your colleagues may arrange a leaving meal or drinks. It’s a lovely send-off and a chance to say goodbye to everyone you’re going to miss.

Quitting your job can feel awkward and cause a lot of chaos for your employer, but you must go where you’ll be happiest. You can reduce any ill-feeling or resentment by making the transition as easy as possible for your employer and considering them in all the stages above. Good luck with your job hunt and get in touch if we can help!

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