How to Resign from Your Job on Good Terms

It’s never an easy conversation, resigning. Whichever end of it you’re on, it’s often an uncomfortable situation and can be difficult to approach. In any case, your employer may need to act as a reference one day, so it’s important to part ways professionally and on good terms. Knowing how to resign from your job and doing so gracefully to boot could make or break your next opportunity – so, with that in mind, here are my top tips.

Reflect on what you’ve learned, and define what you’re grateful for.

There are positives to be taken from any situation, no matter how tricky it may have been and how things have turned out. Before you go into a conversation with management about resigning, put together a list of things you’ve grateful to have learned or experienced in this position. Whatever your reason for leaving, in order to do so on good terms, you should focus on the great aspects of the job you’ve held and reiterate these during the conversation. Keep the entire conversation positive (at the very least neutral, in extreme situations).

Make sure they’re the first to know.

There’s no excuse for talking about your desire or plan to resign from your job around the office or with your co-workers before letting your boss know; it just isn’t good practice. Make sure that your employer themselves are the first to know, rather than the team around you. Not only is this far more professional, but it demonstrates respect for the organization as a whole.

Give enough notice – no excuses.

Sometimes, life happens. This can mean you want (or have) to leave your job fairly unexpectedly. In order to make your transition away from the business a graceful one, however, you should aim to give ample notice – whatever is listed in your contract, if not a little more, where possible – so that your soon-to-be-previous employer can make arrangements. Always consider the gap you’re going to leave behind and how it might adversely affect the business, then show some real regard for the timeframe you give for leaving.

Follow formal process as required.

Having an employee hand in their notice can be a sad and disappointing time for any employer, but it’s also an admin-heavy one. To end things on a high note, aim to follow their internal processes and do your bit to make things easier, whether that be filling out necessary paperwork on time, returning company property, or training up your replacement, for instance.

If they ask for an exit interview, take part.

Exit interviews are becoming common practice for HR professionals and business leaders. It’s exactly what you’d expect: an interview conducted with any outgoing employees. The aim is to understand your reasons behind leaving, with a view to improving their working environment, culture and other aspects of employment for the current and future workforce through your feedback. Be honest but polite throughout and, like we mentioned earlier, try to focus on the positives while still providing some constructive points (if you feel there are any to be made). Just the fact that you’ve taken part is likely to win brownie points against your name.

Knowing how to resign from your job is tough, that’s for sure. But with these tips in mind, hopefully we’re able to make an awkward, often unenjoyable experience go that much more smoothly – which could play huge benefit in your career development moving forwards. We cultivate strong relationships with the jobseekers we help, as well as the clients we place them with. Our job is to help you find your next one, and we do so with pride. Tips and advice like the above are just one small part of it. For more jobseeker advice like this, check out our blog – and, for current opportunities, get in touch with the NLG team today.

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