When It’s Time to Leave

Resigning from your current job requires tact, care and professionalism.  You do not want to burn bridges.  You may need a reference from this company in the future. It is also a small world these days and you could work with these people again down the road in another company.  Here are some suggestions to ensure that you leave on a positive note.

  • Resign in person.  Do not send your manager an email or leave a voice mail.  If at all possible, meet in person to share your news.  If that is not possible, at least speak live on the telephone.  Stress the positive aspects of the company and your experience working there.
  • Put it in writing.  Follow-up the conversation with a formal written letter of resignation.  Keep it simple, brief and positive.  Show your appreciation for your supervisor and the company by thanking them for the opportunities you had while you were there.  It is not necessary or appropriate to give reasons for why you are leaving.
  • Provide notice.  Absolute bare minimum is two weeks notice but give more if you are in a more senior position.
  • Offer Assistance.  Offer to help with the transition by documenting processes and procedures or training others on the team.
  • Request References.  Ask while you are still there if key contacts would be willing to serve as references in the future.  Ask if you may connect with them on LinkedIn to stay in touch.  If appropriate ask if they will write you a recommendation on LinkedIn.
  • Telling Others.  Once you have officially notified your manager, ask if it is ok for you to tell others on the team.  Notify close colleagues personally. If you send an email to others to let them know, keep it brief, positive and professional.  Connect with colleagues on LinkedIn so you are able to easily stay in touch.

How you leave a position says a lot about you as a professional and your brand.


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