What is resigning?
Resignation is the final step in accepting a new job. The purpose of resigning is to give your current employer notice that you will be leaving their company, so that they can prepare for a smooth transition and you can begin your new position.
When should you do it?
You should not resign until you have received and accepted a written offer and all the pre-employment requirements have been fulfilled. Pre-employment requirements could include reference checking, employment and education verification, work authorization verification, credit checks, drug test, criminal history checks, etc.
How does the process work?
Keep it short and positive. The last thing you want to do is burn any bridges, even if you feel like you have been treated unfairly. Keep in mind the new opportunity you are moving to, not the negative reasons you are leaving.
How should I resign?
Step 1: Before Resigning
You've made your decision, there's no looking back. Develop a transition plan - review the status of current projects and determine if you will be able to complete them in your notice period. Your goal is to make this as easy as possible for everyone. Decide if you are going to present this orally as well as in written form.
Step 2: Resign
Schedule a meeting with your supervisor ASAP so you can get it done. Set up enough time to resign and review your transition plan and any other outstanding issues. As a professional courtesy, make sure your boss is the first to know you are leaving. At the meeting, review your resignation letter. Let your supervisor know you have thought this through and feel that this is best for your long-term career and that your decision is final. Also let your supervisor know that you enjoyed working there, have contributed to the team's success, enjoyed their leadership, and are excited by the new position you have accepted. Since your decision is final, ask that they respect your decision and not make it uncomfortable for you in making a counteroffer. Keep in mind that this is not a exit interview; questions concerning why you are leaving and what they can do to fix this are not appropriate at this time.
Step 3: After Resigning
Usually an exit interview is done by human resources. Typically you will be asked your reason for leaving, suggestions for departmental and company improvements, and will be given information to assist in the transition of benefits and the returning of security, parking or other cards. Arrangements for your final pay check and payment for any outstanding vacation or other benefits you may be entitled to. Good-bye lunches are a way to visit one more time and to say good-bye. Always keep this positive; avoid talking negatively about your previous employer, managers, or peers.
Tips in the process:
- Do not delay; resignations are never easy, especially if you have worked somewhere for a long time. Waiting creates more stress for all parties involved.
- Don't become emotionally involved. Remember the reasons you started to look around to begin with and this is a business/career move.
- Most importantly know that your existing employer does not own you, nor do they have the right to know where you are going to be employed next. It is your business until you decide to share that information, if at all. If they pressure you, inform them that you are considering a few options but that your decision to leave is final and that you do not want to use any more company time to interview.
- Resign at the end of the day, especially if you detect hostility.
- Use an off-site location, take your boss to lunch. This is best to be in a neutral less formal environment producing a more personal touch to the situation and a good way to discuss the transition plan.
- Ask for a letter of recommendation or if they would be a future reference for you. Although two weeks is considered standard notice, there is not a set amount of time that is required when you leave an employer.