Positive Resignation – How to hand in your notice

A question that all HR/recruitment professionals get asked on at least a semi regular basis is: “How should I resign?”. The real answer is, there is no textbook answer as there are so many variables and moving parts involved relevant to e.g. company, manager, your professional style etc. but there are definitely a whole lot of wrong ways to do it. Here’s my 4 small tips that hopefully will offer some piece of mind during what in most cases is an awkward conversation (at best), and help it flow with a little more ease and hopefully avoid friction or burned bridges.

Tip 1: No matter how much you might feel like it, don’t use the flaws of the company/manager as your reason for leaving. This is not the time or the place to have this conversation. My advice would be that if there is a burning desire inside you to offer some constructive criticism, do so at an exit interview in a rational and balanced manner. Instead use the positive points of why you have chosen to accept the new role as the reason for your departure.

Tip 2: I’m firmly of the belief that we never stop learning and thus regardless of if you feel it has been the most fulfilling role or not, think of the lessons you’ve learned and thank your manager/company for the opportunity to have learned and grown as a professional.

Tip 3: Unless extenuating circumstances dictate otherwise, wherever possible be willing to work your full contractual notice period. Make arrangements as such so as to make your transition out of the company as smooth as possible.

Tip 4: If not already part of process, offer your time to have an “exit meeting/interview” with your line manager with the aim of trying to shed light on where in your opinion, the organisation could improve. This is where you can offer your CONSTRUCTIVE feedback and show that you are not harbouring any ill feelings due to some negative experiences but instead are aiming to offer your opinion to ensure other employees don’t feel the same thing.

These are by no means complicated steps and is relatively “back to basics” kind of stuff but I hope it will give some piece of mind to anyone who may be looking for a little direction on ways to part ways in a positive light.

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