Many people can be put off leaving a job because they find it difficult. Handing in your notice can be tricky and there is definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. So once you’ve definitely made up your mind it’s time to go, how should you leave your current role?
Like Richard Branson says, “You should build bridges, not burn them”, and if you’ve worked hard to build professional relationships you need to be smart about how you manage those – you never know whose path you’ll cross later down the line! You must remain professional and think about your future. So nurture those relationships, think ahead and try and leave that door open.
Try to be flexible about your notice and willing to work a bit longer if necessary, especially if you’ve not got a firm start date yet for your next role. You don’t want to hang around, but handing in your notice also doesn’t mean to have to exit the building immediately. Be as reasonable and as helpful as possible.
On the other hand, your employer shouldn’t make you feel disloyal because you’ve decided to make a move. You don’t have to fall out with your current employer because you’ve handed in your notice. Be polite and professional. And if they do try to make you feel bad, rise above it, keep your dignity and work out your notice with your head held high.
You should have a good resignation letter and give it to the right people, in the right order. Put it in writing and deliver it personally. Don’t let your Manager hear you’re leaving from someone else within the organisation. Obviously, you’ll have a discussion about how you’re going to work out your notice, but you also can have input into how this is going to be communicated within the organisation, so don’t forget to think about this before you hand on your notice.
Be transparent and open about where you are moving on to. Don’t tell one person one thing and someone another. It will all come out in the wash, especially if you’re no longer there. And you don’t want people thinking you were dishonest or secretive.
If you have an exit interview, don’t vent every last detail about what you didn’t like about your firm. Although it’s technically the time to be totally open about your time at the company, you probably don’t want to be brutally honest about everything. You need to be diplomatic. Being uncensored about the firm’s downsides are going to do very little for you at this point – you’re leaving anyway, and you’re also not obliged to do this. You want to leave on an amicable note, not dwelling on all the things about the business that didn’t work for you.