Are you thinking of quitting your job? Is it time to move on to something else?
Whether you are leaving for personal reasons, for another job, or to go independent, there are several things you need to consider before you make it official. Once you are ready, you should then leave your job with grace.
Before resigning, you need to have a transition plan in place. If you are leaving for lifestyle reasons, or to go independent, then you need to ensure that you have the financial means to do so. Here are some things to look at:
- Do you have adequate savings to carry you through six months of living expenses?
- Do you live in an affordable home?
- Do you have your partner on board?
If you are transitioning to a new job, then you will want to have the offer in hand, and know when they expect you to start working.
The next step will be to clean out your desk of all personal possessions and get prepared for the jump. Most workplaces are reasonable about this, but more hostile or sensitive workplaces may expect you to leave the moment you break the news.
Remember to take personal possessions only: Don’t leave as a thief.
Let your boss know first.
Once you are ready to make the jump, you may be excited and ready to tell everyone the news. However, the first person that needs to know is your boss. Imagine if he heard the news through the grapevine first, instead?
To make it official, you need to write a letter of resignation, signed with your signature and dated. The letter should state your intention to resign, and you can also add a statement of gratitude for your time at the company. Since this letter goes on your permanent record at the company, it is not the place to add lengthy explanations or negative statements. You never know when you may cross paths in the future.
Here is a sample resignation letter:
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign from Acme Amalgamated. My last day will be two weeks from today, at the close of business on March 15th.
I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had, and I wish you and the company the best of success for the future.
[Signed and dated]
It doesn’t need to be much longer than this. The letter should be formal, short, and to the point. If you want to rant about coworkers, a boss, or other things, it’s best to leave them off this letter. You can always discuss it in person in a professional manner.
Be prepared for the counter-offer.
Your boss may come back to you with a counter-offer of a better paycheck or other benefits or perks. It is important that you have your story straight, not just for the boss but for yourself as well. If you are not leaving for salary reasons, then it is better not to give salary as a reason for leaving!
The best story is the truth, though it is also best to present this in a professional manner. There is no reason to burn any bridges.
Your boss may also ask you for extra time so that the company can find a replacement. This is at your discretion, but if you can do it, you will make a very good closing impression on your boss and company, as well as any future company that you work for. Why not leave with a bit of extra goodwill?
Prepare for the transition out.
After speaking to your boss, the next step will to visit HR and prepare for your future beyond the company. Here are some of the things that you will need to take care of:
- Retirement accounts.
- Medical and life insurance.
- Cellular plans.
- Unused vacation days.
- Returning company property, and bringing home personal effects.
Depending on the culture of your workplace, there may be a farewell lunch or an after-hours event. This will be up to your boss or colleagues to organize.
On your last day, you’ll want to make sure that all of these threads have been closed and that you are ready for the job. It will also be the time to ensure that any training and transition material that you have been working on is completed and submitted to your boss.
Don’t forget to say goodbye to your colleagues and let them know how they can reach you in the future, and good luck!