There are many reasons for leaving a job — you might want to take a break from working, plan to go back to school, receive a better offer, or frankly you just hate your job. Whatever the reason may be, it can be difficult to let your employer know that you want to leave.
While some reasons such as moving countries or returning to school are simple enough to list as reasons for resigning, it may be hard to explain if you are leaving for a better opportunity. It’s human nature to avoid difficult conversations and I have seen many friends hold off on informing their employers till the last minute. This just adds more animosity towards you and can also put your employer in a tough spot. In this article, I will share some strategies you can refer to if you are planning on resigning.
I understand that these strategies might not be applicable for everyone. Please pick and choose aspects based on what works for you:
Be direct: Schedule a conversation with your supervisor (ideally in-person) and don’t beat around the bush. Be direct that you are planning on resigning. Initiate a polite conversation about your goals and needs, and how you cannot fulfil them in the current job.
Do not unleash pent-up anger: Before you tell your boss everything you hate about them and the job, remember that in most cases, the goal of resigning is to leave and not to burn bridges. You never know when you may need a referral or bump into an old colleague. The last thing you want to do is lose a reference, so keep the conversation polite and professional.
Timely notification: Notify your organisation and boss with a realistic amount of time for transition such as finding a replacement for you and preparing a proper hand-over process.
Cooperate with the transition process: Try not to take major additional responsibility at work if you have decided to quit. Proactively help with creating a smooth transition process for your responsibilities and projects.
Express areas of appreciation: Highlight positive aspects of your experience. Express appreciation for the things you enjoyed, such as learnings, experiences, and relationships you have built.
Provide feedback: If you are leaving because of a particular issue, you can be transparent about your reasons. This can help the company improve. A lot of female managers were leaving my previous company because they were struggling with work-life balance. As a result, my firm increased maternity leave and provided flexible work hours for parents, leading to increase in retention.
Do not be guilt-tripped: Be aware of not being guilt tripped into extending your end date beyond what works for you. I know many friends who were asked to do unpaid work as a favour for their previous employer. Make sure you draw your boundaries well.
But most importantly, before resigning, please ensure that you have enough savings, especially if you do not have a new job lined up. It can often take months to find a new job so keep that in mind before making a rash decision.