Navigating the delicate process of resigning can be challenging, so Style My Soul sought advice from top professionals. From the importance of giving one month’s notice to maintaining positive relations with your employer, discover the nine essential tips these experts recommend for responsibly resigning from a job or position.
Give One Month’s Notice
As somebody who once resigned from a prominent marketing position, the way I recommend doing it is by giving one month’s notice. Two weeks is the norm. One month gives more time for the company to fill your position and for you to onboard a new person or persons to your responsibilities. Resigning can be one of the most stressful career moves you can make. You do it and become worried you’ll be ostracized in your field. If you resign with empathy towards those around you, this won’t happen.
Understand that your peers will momentarily have to absorb your workload. Do whatever is necessary to make this easy for them. And do whatever is necessary to help onboard your replacement. This is how I resigned, and this, I believe, is the most responsible way to do it — especially when people depend on you. - Edward Sturm, Fractional CMO, Edwardsturm.com
Transfer Knowledge Before Leaving
I think this question needs to be expanded and rephrased into “How can one stop being indispensable in a company?” You must structure your work in such a way that, if you leave the company, the mechanism will continue to work. If you feel that your head contains some unique knowledge or skills, then you need to transfer them to the rest of the team as quickly as possible. If you hold a leadership position, then you need to build processes in such a way that the team can work with minimal participation from you. Only in this case will your departure not be fatal for the company. It is also advisable to notify the company about your leaving as early as possible in order to take part in the selection and training of the employee who will take your place. For example, I remember how I was given another team under my command, which included an employee with unique knowledge of working with legacy code. The first thing I did was create a large sprint task for him to train two more team members on how to work with this part of the system. I repeat, the team should not have irreplaceable employees.
- Viktoria Dolzhenko, Team Lead, Itez
Consider Opportunities Before Resigning
Don’t be too hasty — that’s probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. The truth is, even if you have the right skills, jobs can still be hard to find in the modern day. First, consider why you want to resign from your job. If you’ve found a better offer at another firm, then you should still consider the working environment there and compare it to what you currently have. Don’t just consider salary, but also benefits. A job that pays a bit more but doesn’t give you the same benefits, such as healthcare and a pension fund, might not be worth it after all. If you’re “sick and tired” of your current job, look at the market to see if there are opportunities available before you hand in your resignation. You can also try to talk to upper management about the problems you have. If you’re a valuable resource to the company, chances are, they’ll likely allow some changes to avoid losing your skills. - Joe Flanagan, Marketing Manager, Ukulele Tabs
Return All Company Property
When resigning from a job, ensure the return of all company property. This includes not just the obvious items, like laptops or mobile devices, but also any office furniture or equipment that was provided for your use and not given as a personal gift. Also, hand over all relevant login information, software details, and digital files for which you were responsible. Ensuring that all these resources are returned and information is transferred demonstrates professionalism and respects the integrity of the company’s assets and data security. - Nikhil Jogia, Managing Director, Jogia Diamonds
Send a Professional Resignation Letter
As soon as possible after the meeting, send an official resignation letter. This letter should be short and professional, and it should state that you appreciate the time and opportunities the company has given you, while also making clear why you are leaving. It is very important not to include any complaints or issues in this letter.
During the notice period, you should actively assist with the transition process. This could mean training your replacement on how to do your job, documenting all of your current responsibilities, or offering advice to colleagues who might take on some of your tasks. Showing that you’re ready to help with this transition demonstrates that you are professional and want to ensure the handover goes smoothly. - Tim Griffiths, CEO, Initial Interiors
Offer to Help with the Transition
When responsibly resigning from a job or position, my key tip is to provide adequate notice and ensure a smooth transition. This means informing your employer promptly, typically two weeks in advance, or as per your contract. During this period, offer to help with the transition process, whether it’s training a replacement, documenting your work, or completing outstanding projects. This approach not only maintains a positive relationship with your employer but also upholds your professional reputation. It’s important to leave on good terms, as the professional world is interconnected, and these relationships can be valuable in the future. - Jon James, CEO, Ignited Results
Adhere to Stipulated Notice Period
When responsibly resigning from a job or position, it’s important to adhere to the notice period stipulated in your employment contract. Rather than abruptly quitting, providing advance notice not only maintains professionalism but also respects the time needed for the company to adjust to your departure. Additionally, offering to assist in the onboarding process of your replacement can greatly ease the transition. This can involve sharing crucial job knowledge, documenting processes, or even participating in the selection and training of the new hire. - Alex Freeburg, Owner, Freeburg Law
Prioritize Communication and Transparency
Having gone through several career changes, including resignations, I understand how important it is to leave a position responsibly. Setting communication and transparency as top priorities is an important piece of advice. Arrange a meeting with your supervisor to go over your decision in person before submitting your resignation. Thank the role for the opportunities and learning experiences it provided, and provide a succinct and professional explanation of your reasons for departing.
Offer to help with the transition process during this talk by ensuring there is a seamless shift of responsibility and giving enough notice. This action shows that you are willing to assist the team even after you leave. It’s also crucial to maintain your composure and professionalism through your last day of work, as well as to stay engaged in your career and refrain from being negative or harboring sour grapes. This strategy not only preserves your professional reputation but also ensures a favorable reference for future endeavors. - Matt Little, Owner, Festoon House
Maintain Positive Employer Relations
When considering how to responsibly resign from a job or position, it’s essential to prioritize clear and respectful communication. The key is to schedule a face-to-face meeting with your manager to express your gratitude for the opportunities given and to explain your reasons for leaving in a straightforward yet considerate manner. This approach demonstrates respect, professionalism, and will help maintain a positive relationship with your employer. It’s about nurturing your professional network and leaving a lasting, positive impression.
- Bayu Prihandito, Certified Psychology Expert, Life Coach, Founder, Life Architekture