This is another post about changing jobs that were instigated by a phone call from a friend who was thinking about handing in his resignation and moving to another job. You can check out my previous posts – “Should I Change Jobs” and “Leaving a Job, Talk to an Adviser” which cover those topics and some of the things you should consider before making the decision to change jobs.
Handing in My Resignation – Do Not Burn Bridges
This post is focused on handing in your resignation, once you have done your homework and have made the decision to leave your current job. There are many ways to resign, however, the bottom line is that you never want to burn any bridges. In my experience, I have found that over the years you work with many people in many different companies and functions. Over the years you work with these same people many times even if you change jobs. You never know when good contact, a friend or a colleague can help you with a project, or the next job.
Handing in My Resignation – Be Professional
Always be professional, especially when you are handing in your resignation. Wait until you have a firm offer from the new company and then turn in your resignation to your boss. The personal touch is always best. By that, we mean to set up a meeting and do it in person or over the phone if they are in another city. Then provide the written signed letter of resignation. Keep your letter short and to the point and provide a final date, which will indicate your last day.
You should also extol the virtue of the company, the colleagues, and your experience and learning at your old company. Never say anything negative in your letter or even verbally. This is all part of networking, not burning bridges, and keeping your relationship professional!
How Much Notice Do I Need to Provide
The amount of notice varies a lot depending on the local laws, the company, how you feel about the company, even the level you are at within the company. If you are trying to maintain excellent relationships, giving a longer notice so they can find someone to replace you and you can transition to may put you in good standing over the longer term. Some people will bounce back and forth between companies a lot. Keeping a professional flavor to the relationship is always the best approach.
Some companies are very concerned about security and this really depends on company policy as well as the type of job you have. Some companies will accept resignations and walk you to the door because they are so concerned about security issues, while others will take advantage of the last few weeks to learn as much as possible from you. Whichever occurs don’t take it personally, it is just business and company attitudes about the security of information.
Being Nervous, Feeling Like You Are Letting the Team Down
Many people have a professional and nonprofessional relationship with their teammates at a company. If you are working on a project you may feel that you are letting the team down by leaving. You may even feel that you are letting the company down if they have treated you well over the years.
Sure some people will be disappointed that you are leaving and will be sorry to see you leave. Your boss may even be upset. Not because it is you that is leaving, but because he or she now has to replace you and find someone to fill in for you.
Members of your team, even your boss will be happy for you especially if you are leaving for a better situation. Whether it is better pay, less stress, more benefits or even a more interesting job, they will be happy for you. They might even be a bit envious and some will want to stay in touch so that they too can follow you, especially if they can improve their financial situation.
So bottom line, don’t be nervous and don’t feel guilty about handing in your resignation.
Say Nice Things
Before you leave as well as after you leave, always say nice things about the people and the company. No one wants to listen to a negative tirade about how bad it was at some other company. You never know when it might come back and cause you problems in future jobs, future sales, or future relationships.
If a job, company, or colleague is really not that great, then do not say anything at all. People will still get the message, and you will not be blamed as being negative or worse sued for libel.
There are some situations that are just not tolerable and this situation forces you to leave. If it is illegal, then you really should do something about it. Regardless you want to get as far away as fast as possible from this situation. Avoid being caught up in something that is really not good for your career and/or even freedom.
Feel free to leave comments and suggestions about this post, handing in resignations, changing jobs, etc. Our readers will benefit from constructive helpful comments.