Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The do's and don'ts of resigning from your job gracefully

Written by: Tatiyana Cure, Executive Recruiter, CFS New York

DON’T raise suspicion
If you start removing family photos and personal things from your desk too soon, it will raise suspicion about potential resignation.

DO inform your boss
Before speaking with Human Resources, give the courtesy of preparing your boss. Most likely he/she has no idea that you have been interviewing. Avoid the “Why?” as it may tempt you to say something you may regret.

DON’T be negative
Regardless of how much you hate your current company, department, boss, or position, do not say or write anything that could potentially harm your character or future.

DO give adequate notice
Refer to your company’s policy for clarification. If it’s not specified, use the two-week rule.

DON’T give too much notice
Remember, you are under no obligation to stay longer. Think about it like this: if your boss or your company needed to make cuts, would they give you enough notice to find a new job?

DO clean up
Even if you give a two-week notice, your employer may ask you to leave immediately specifically if you are heading to a competitor. Clean up your computer and your work area or all personal information prior to extending the resignation.

DO write a formal resignation letter
Regardless of whether you resign via an in-person meeting or phone call, draft a formal resignation letter. Here’s a sample:
(Company Name)
(City, State Zip)

Dear (Employer Name):

This letter is to inform you that I wish to terminate my employment with (Company Name) effective (Date). I have accepted a new position and have decided to move on with my career.

I want to express my gratitude for a rewarding opportunity with (Company Name) and with you personally. My decision to pursue another opportunity was not an easy one, but it is right for me as I work toward fulfilling my goals. I hope you will respect my decision in this matter.

My efforts until my end date will be to wrap up my products here and turn over my responsibilities as smoothly as possible.


(Your name)

DON’T accept a counteroffer
A counteroffer is inevitable, and not just because you may be great at what you do. Your boss also doesn’t want the added work from your resignation and the stress of filling your position. Either way, it’s never a good idea to accept a counteroffer.

DO keep your commitment to your start date
If you made a commitment to a start date with your future employer, keep your word. Don’t alter it based on needing more time with your current employer or unplanned vacation. This raises questions about your loyalty before you even start.

DON’T brag
Keep the details confidential. There’s no point of rubbing it into your coworkers’ faces about how lucky you are and how miserable they may be about staying in their current situations.

DO ask for a reference
Before you leave, ask for a letter of recommendation. As time passes, it may become difficult to track down your prior supervisors and their phone numbers. However, if you have a letter in hand or recommendation on LinkedIn, it may prove to be beneficial in the future. Even if it’s not enough, your prior supervisors and colleagues are more likely to remember your contributions and achievements if they had the opportunity to write them down. They are also more likely to pick up or return a reference call.

DON’T burn bridges
It is never a good idea to burn bridges with your current employer. That’s why it’s important to give adequate notice, offer help, and leave a good lasting impression.

DO offer help
Offer to train your successor or the person covering the role on interim basis. Even if your assistance is declined, part of leaving gracefully is offering help and answering questions after you leave.

DON’T skip the exit interview
If you are asked to participate in the exit interview, take the time to do so without being extremely negative.

DO get the details
Before you leave, ensure that you have adequate information about your benefits including COBRA, 401K, unused sick time, and any additional bonuses. It’s easier to get clarification while you are still in the building.

DON’T keep any company property
Return all equipment and do not remove anything from the premises that could be deemed confidential. If you do want to keep any work samples to aid your future job searches, it’s a good idea to ask permission.

DO write a farewell message
It doesn’t hurt to write a quick email saying a few nice things and a proper goodbye. You may even want to close the loop by specifying where you are heading (unless you have a prior agreement with your boss). I also recommend including your contact information for questions that may arise and for staying in touch. Keep in mind that your work phone number and email account will be locked after your last day.

We love to hear your questions and insight, so please comment below! You can also reach out to one of our expert recruiters. Find the closest CFS office to you here.

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