Leaving a job is often a bittersweet hodgepodge of emotions. While it’s the end of an era, you’re also on the cusp of uncharted territory. Now, there’s only one thing left for you to do: resign.
Regardless of the reasons for your departure, your exit should always be graceful and deliberate. Leaving a job with anything less than that is a major faux pas that can cause long-term damage to your reputation and connections.
Follow these do’s and don’ts when resigning from your job to ensure your final impression is a positive one:
- Give ample notice
Providing at least two weeks’ notice is considered standard practice, as it allows your employer time to make the necessary arrangements and find a replacement.
- Tell your boss first and in person
Whenever possible, have a face-to-face conversation with your manager to deliver the news. Meeting in person versus a video call – or worse, a hasty email – allows for a more personal conversation about the details of your departure and demonstrates respect.
- Write a formal resignation letter
A well-crafted resignation letter is essential for leaving on a positive note. Be brief, professional, and express gratitude for the opportunity. This document will serve as a formal record of your resignation.
Ready to make it official? Use our resignation letter templates to help you draft your formal notice!
- Update your resume and LinkedIn profile
If you haven’t secured a new job ahead of your departure, be sure to update your resume and professional profiles like LinkedIn to reflect the most accurate and up-to-date information. Prepare these materials before submitting your resignation, so you can focus your efforts on landing a new job and hit the ground running.
- Express gratitude
Be sure to thank your employer for the experiences and opportunities they have provided. Keep your interactions with your coworkers and management gracious and professional, reinforcing the good memories of your time with the company.
- Maintain your productivity
Avoid slacking off or procrastinating on tasks. Use your last few weeks to tie up any loose ends. Continue fulfilling your responsibilities until your very last day and leave on a high note.
Failing to meet your responsibilities can damage your professional reputation and potentially harm the team you’re leaving behind.
- Create a transition plan for your replacement
If appropriate, offer to assist your manager in finding and training your replacement. Alternatively, you can support your team by developing a plan for transferring tasks and responsibilities to other team members. This is a testament to your dedication to the company’s success and helps to ease the transition for everyone involved.
- Request a reference
Be sure to request a reference from your employer or a trusted colleague before you leave. This will help you in future job applications and is evidence that you’re leaving on good terms.
- Stay in contact with your colleagues
Always maintain professional relationships with your colleagues and network. Networking is essential in today’s job market, and these connections may prove invaluable in your future career endeavors – you never know when you might cross paths again.
- Don’t leave without a plan
Avoid making impulsive decisions. Take the time to carefully consider your decision, weighing the pros and cons of your current job and potential opportunities.
Before resigning, ensure you have a clear plan for your next career move to avoid unnecessary stress or financial strain. Even if you’re leaving without a new role lined up, having a basic plan in place can give you structure and direction as you navigate the job market.
- Don’t air your grievances about your coworkers or company
While it may be tempting to share your frustrations, avoid using your resignation as an opportunity to vent. Even if they’re justified, publicly broadcasting your grievances at the end of your stint at a company is never a good idea.
The water cooler is neither the time nor the place to announce your conflicts. Keep the reasons for your departure diplomatic and save your constructive criticisms for your exit interview.
- Don’t burn bridges
Keep in mind that the business world can be surprisingly small, and the connections you’ve made at your current job may prove valuable later. Be respectful and professional when resigning, and avoid talking negatively about your employer, colleagues, or the company.
Your reputation and goodwill with your coworkers have vastly more value than the fleeting moments of satisfaction you might get after telling everyone what you really feel. Regardless of the circumstances, always take the high road and maintain your professionalism and integrity.
- Don’t resign in the middle of an important project
If possible, avoid resigning during the midst of an important project or deadline, as this can cause additional stress for your team. If you’re unable to complete a project, make an effort to complete any outstanding projects or provide a detailed handover to your successor.
- Don’t brag about your new job
While you may be excited about your new opportunity, remember that your colleagues might have mixed feelings about your departure. Be mindful of their emotions and avoid boasting about your new position and focus on maintaining a humble attitude.
- Don’t leave without saying goodbye
Take the time to say farewell to your colleagues and supervisors. This small gesture reflects your appreciation for the relationships you’ve built and offers a sense of camaraderie as your last impression.
1. Give ample notice
2. Tell your boss first and ideally in-person
3. Write a formal resignation letter
4. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile
5. Express gratitute
6. Maintain your productivity
7. Create a transition plan for your replacement
8. Request a reference
9. Stay in contact with your colleagues
1. Don’t leave without a plan
2. Don’t air your grievances about your coworkers or company
3. Don’t burn bridges
4. Don’t resign in the middle of an important project
5. Don’t brag about your new job
6. Don’t leave without saying goodbye