are plenty of interesting ways to let your employer know you're leaving. But
make sure you don't burn your bridges
You might be
tempted to dance your way out of the door, charm your ex-employer with the message
iced on to a cake, or even get your own back by lambasting your boss to the
whole office (one of the funnier Twitter hoaxes). But you need to resist these
temptations when the time comes for you to resign.
the side of caution with a polite resignation letter means you won't burn
bridges. You might not want to work for the company again, but remember, paths
might cross with your ex-line manager or other colleagues in a different
company in the future. Making sure your exit is as professional as possible
will help you retain credibility – even if you're leaving under a cloud.
Letting your manager know
courtesy by telling your boss first. Request a meeting to say that you're
leaving, following up soon after with an official resignation letter. Do this
before you blast out an office-wide email.
Work out how
you can ensure a smooth transition and minimise disruption to your employer.
There may be a range of things you can do to hand over professionally, such as
completing projects, working out the priorities with your line manager, leaving
clear documentation or training up your successor in processes or software.
meeting with your boss, write a list of ongoing projects along with status
updates and suggestions for completion.
meeting to clarify any other points, such as your notice period and leaving
date, how you will inform others (colleagues or external clients, contacts and
suppliers). Ask about references too; your employer may only supply the most
basic type (including dates worked, job title etc) but your line manager might
also give you a more personal reference. Making sure you get a good written
reference before you leave (or trying to agree the wording if you leave in less
happy circumstances) can make subsequent job hunting less stressful.
letter short. You don't need to give lots of explanations or justification for
why you're leaving, or even to say where you're moving to. Don't be tempted to
address the failings of the company or your boss, either. Instead, thanking
your employer for the job and mentioning what you appreciated about it is a
graceful touch. Here's an idea of what to include:
First paragraph – the basics
writing to formally give notice of my resignation from my post/position/role as
(job title) at (name of employer).
the terms of my contract, the notice period is (length of notice period) and my
final working day will therefore be (leaving date)."
Second paragraph – thank your employer
enjoyed working here and particularly appreciate/would like to thank you for
particular career-building projects you worked on or opportunities to develop
skills and contribute to the employer's goals and successes. You can also
mention your appreciation at being able to work in a great team or to develop
your knowledge of the industry, for example.
Third paragraph – state your willingness to hand over
do my utmost to complete existing projects and to assist where possible in the
sincerely ... "
Letting others know
As well as
telling your closest colleagues in person, you may also want to email others.
Again, keep this short and sweet, such as: "As you may already know, I've
decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities (in ... ) /to take
the next step in my career.
enjoyed working with you all and hope that our paths will cross again in the
Whitmell for The Guardian. Published: 22 January 2014