Chances are, you will resign from numerous jobs over the course of your career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee stays in a position for 4.6 years
When the time comes to announce your pending resignation, take a thoughtful, sensitive approach. You never know what may happen down the line. You may interact with your colleagues and bosses again in your professional life, so you don’t want to damage the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build.
As noted by author and Harvard Business School professor Len Schlesinger, “the bookends – how you start and how you end – are the most important parts of any professional relationship.” However, people tend to spend a lot of time and energy on making the right first impression and rarely give much thought to their last ones.
Follow these tips to leave your job without torching that bridge:
Be strategic with your time frame.
Regardless of your reasons for leaving, you have one final responsibility to your company, and that is to ensure an orderly and positive transition. Don’t leave your employer in a lurch.
- Tell your boss first. After that, decisions surrounding the nature and timing of your departure are up to them. You may, however, weigh in on how your resignation is communicated; for example, by email or at a team meeting. Establishing this up front will help keep the rumor mill at bay.
- Ask your manager for direction and close supervision regarding how to tie up loose ends. After you leave, you want your former supervisor and colleagues to feel nothing but positive about your professionalism.
- Consider your position before settling on a departure date. If your role will be difficult to fill, try o allow your employer ample time to replace you. If time permits, offer to train your successor. At a minimum, give two weeks’ notice. Generally the higher up you are in an organization, the longer it takes to extricate yourself. On the other hand, giving too much notice is not necessarily wise. The moment you announce that you’re leaving, you’re perceived as an outsider or a lame duck. You won’t likely be invited to certain meetings or team-bonding activities. You don’t want to hang around too long.
Be as transparent as possible.
While you’re under no legal or moral obligation to reveal your next career move, it’s best to take the long view. Your co-workers will find out about your new role the minute you update your social media profiles.
- Be honest and straightforward. This enables you to own the message. The more transparent you are, the more likely you are to preserve and build on the relationships you already have. Soon-to-be former colleagues are a critical part of your network – and you want to keep it that way.
- Express your gratitude. Even if you’re ecstatic about leaving, adopt an appreciative mindset about the position and people you’re leaving behind. Be grateful for the experience and the things that went well.
- Write a positive letter of resignation. Indicate how much you enjoyed your time at the company and mention things you learned. It can be brief, but keep it upbeat.
Career transition periods are optimal times to partner with a professional recruiter who can tap you into their network of contacts and share their advice, tips and resources to ensure a seamless, successful transition. Contact the team at PrideStaff Fresno to learn more.