How to Resign from your job without burning bridges

AY9RA6 I quit!
AY9RA6 I quit!

It’s never easy to resign, but letting a door slam behind you or disappearing in action isn’t the way to go about it. There are many reasons that you may have come to the decision to resign from your job.
Whether you just feel it’s time to try something new or the opportunity that you came across was once in a lifetime, it would be silly to burn bridges and therefore it’s important that you are tactful when it comes to breaking the news to your employer.

After all, it will be far more beneficial to the future of your career if you are to leave the company with your head held high, than to create bad feelings between you and your ex-employer and even colleagues.
So here are a few tips for resigning in style :-

1) Make sure you are 100% certain about your decision
Once you have let your boss know that you intend on leaving there’s no going back, so you need to be entirely sure that you are doing the right thing. If there is a specific reason that you want to leave, think about whether you have explored all options that could resolve the problem. The same goes for seeking out a new challenge, as there may be scope for development within your existing company if you bring your concerns to your boss’s attention.

2) Resign in person
There’s no question that delivering a resignation should always be in person. Tip: rather than catching your manager off-guard, request a meeting via e-mail and compose an official resignation letter to bring with you.

3) Be prepared, direct and polite
Deliver the news objectively and without emotion. Your resignation should not be a personal attack on individuals or the company. Instead, focus on the positives (that you acquired invaluable experience in your role, but you’re ready to take the next step in a fresh environment) and avoid negatives (that you were sick of waiting for a pay rise).

4) Factor in curve balls
Your manager may offer a pay rise or another benefit to tempt you to stay, but consider the potential consequences of accepting something like that beforehand. On one hand, your current employer may think you purposely sought a higher offer to help you bargain for a raise (and mentally file you as “the greedy one to keep an eye on”) and your new employer may be disappointed that they put so much effort into recruiting you, only to lose you before you even began.

5) Give more notice than required
Check with HR to find out how much notice to give and tack on a few extra weeks if possible. It’s always better to allow more time for the organisation to fill your role. By doing so, you’ll be trying to do your manager and the company a favour, which in turn should result in an amicable departure and farewell.”

6) Ask for a reference
When you resign, allude to the fact that you would like your boss to be a referee and that potential employers may contact them. The more upfront you are with this the better. If they decline, ask why. You have a right to know.

7) Don’t let your standards drop
If you didn’t take long lunches before, don’t start now. It’s imperative that you continue to maintain a high performance level in the role while you’re on your notice period. Falling short could result in a less-than-glowing reference.

8) Leave on a high
On your last day, don’t forget to thank your boss and colleagues before you leave. These are the people who could be approached as referees for you and being professional and gracious to the end will enhance your chance of receiving good references and future employment opportunities.