So you’ve successfully made it through the recruitment process and received an offer that you’re happy with, all that is left to do is to resign. Depending on your situation, this may be something you do gladly, or you may find it difficult, particularly if you’ve been with the organisation for some time. The way you leave an organisation can leave a lasting impression, so make sure you do it the right way. Here are some things to consider:
Before you resign, make sure you are 100% committed to going through with it. If you are leaving simply because you want a pay rise or a more senior role, you should talk to your manager about this before you even look for a new job; they may be able to offer you what you are after. Be wary of counter offers that promise the world only after you resign. Managers can panic when faced with a resignation, but you need to ask yourself why it took your resignation for them to value your contribution.
Check your notice period and any non compete clauses
Review your contract to check your required notice period and if you are bound by any non compete clauses. Notice periods are generally between two and four weeks, but this can vary. If you are subject to a non compete clause, it is important you comply; failure to do so can have very serious (legal) implications.
Write a resignation letter
You need to put your resignation in writing. Your letter should be professional and polite and state your notice period and intended end date. You don’t need to offer a reason for your resignation, but you can if you think it is appropriate; just be sure to steer clear of documenting any emotional reasons (such as conflict with a manager). You want to be sure to leave on good terms.
Meet with your manager face to face
It is important that you resign in a face to face meeting with your manager (not via phone or email). Arrange a meeting during which you offer your resignation letter. Depending on the situation and the relationship you have with your manager, you may elaborate on your reasons for leaving, or you can simply say you think it is time to move on.
Even if you have had some negative experiences, try to emphasise the positive aspects of your time so you leave on good terms. You never know when your paths may cross again. You should also discuss how the handover will be handled.
Ask for references
Be sure to ask your manager (and anyone else relevant) if they are prepared to act as a referee for you. It is ideal to get a written recommendation that details your strengths and the contribution you made during your time with the organisation. Make sure you maintain contact with anyone who you may use a referee down the track and give them a heads up every time you look for a new job.