When it comes to handing in your notice, there are definite dos and don’ts to adhere to. The important thing is to keep the experience as positive as possible, so put away any axes you’d like to grind (!) and prepare to put your best foot forward as you step into the resignation process. Here are a few tips to think about before handing in your notice…
- Make your decision (and live by it)
The hardest part about resigning is deciding to do it in the first place! So think about what you’d do if your boss offered you more money or a better job title to stay. If you could be swayed, maybe it’s best to put your resignation on ice and find ways to go after more money in a different way.
- Hold your tongue
It’s best not to breathe a word of your decision to anyone until you’ve spoken to the person you report to. They won’t thank you if they hear of your resignation from somebody else before you’ve had your say. It could also set your resignation meeting off on a bad footing.
- Write your resignation letter
With office etiquette changing all the time, one thing is still clear: you must write a formal letter of resignation. Thank your boss for giving you the current opportunity, but explain that you must resign, effective as of your notice period, which you must state.
Add a line to explain why you are leaving, but keep it loose and brief. For example, you could say that you’re going to explore new horizons. Be respectful and positive – you never know when you may need a reference in future.
- Speak to your boss
It can be hard to find the ideal moment to broach the subject with your boss, but it’s safe to say that you’ll know when the bad times are. Try not to choose first thing on a Monday morning, last thing on a Friday, or straight after a company meeting announcing a drop in profits!
You could always ask your boss to pencil in a quick chat or meeting at a time that’s best for them. Your judgement will win out on this one, so go with it – and let’s face it, from your boss’s point of view, there’s never a good time.
- Life goes on for everybody else
Once you’ve seen your employer, try not to walk around grinning from ear to ear! You might be elated that your stress is going to become someone else’s problem, but be considerate to your fellow employees who might be feeling anxious that your exit may mean greater responsibility for them.
If your boss is in agreement, you should speak to your colleagues and be as respectful to them as with your employer. There’s nothing worse than office gossip, so face-to-face discussions are the way forward. Avoid putting it on social media!
- Know your notice period
Before you resign, it’s best to familiarise yourself with your contract. You may have to work a long notice period or be prevented from working for a competitor for a fixed period of time, which may impact the role you’re moving to.
In some instances, you could be escorted from the premises and put on gardening leave to protect client confidentiality. If the latter is the case, tidy your desktop and clear your draws in advance. You can find out more about payment in your notice period here.
- Life goes on for everybody else
If you have to work a notice period, try not to slide into slightly longer lunch breaks or roll in late every day. You’ll want to leave a great impression, because, as we all know, it’s a small world and the chances are you may work with or be recommended by your colleagues in future.
Leave comprehensive handover notes and where necessary, introduce clients to your replacement. And it’s always good to stay in touch with colleagues after you’ve left so get their personal details or connect with them on LinkedIn so you don’t lose touch.