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The Right Way to Resign

You’ve been through the recruitment interview process and landed your next job – now all you have to do is resign from your current one. But as with all things work related, there is etiquette to handing in your notice to ensure you leave in the most professional manner.
Written on 10/13/15

Before you even approach your manager, look into the length of your notice period and consider how (and when) you will broach the subject.

Notice periods

Whatever type of contract you have you will be expected to work your notice period, the details of which will be in your contract. When working your notice be sure to still offer the very best – in essence behave as if you are staying. This will ensure that you leave a positive, professional impression with your peers and managers.

For some companies, and depending on your position or perhaps where you are moving to -for example a competitor, you may be requested to go on gardening leave. This means that you will not work your notice in the office and this is normally requested if it’s felt that you will be privy to sensitive information. If placed on gardening leave, you will carry on receiving your pay and any other package benefits and remember that you are still formally employed until your gardening leave ends.

Handling your resignation

Whilst your resignation should always be presented in person, you will also need to put it in writing. Have a look online, as there are lots of templates that can help you with this, but the basic information remains the same and includes the date you intend to leave and the position from which you are resigning. You may also decide to include a short paragraph of thanks to your manager and company for the opportunities they have offered you.

This is a formal document so use professional terminology and lay it out correctly. Beware of adding anything too personal or writing anything too critical; this is best done face-to-face and there may be an opportunity when you meet your manager to offer some constructive criticism in person. Whilst there is no obligation on your part to discuss your reasons for leaving, if you have a good relationship with your manager it can be helpful for them to understand your motivation. Especially if there are reasons surrounding your peers, the working environment or working practices that have led you to decide leave, as it offers your manager the opportunity to address them.

When you meet with your manager remember to be gracious and assure your manager that any transition period will be well managed and as seamless as possible.  Discuss how you will hand over any outstanding projects and who will deal with these after you have left. And, don’t burn your bridges, even if your relationship has deteriorated, remain professional - you never know when your paths may cross again.

Ben Duffill, a Director of The Management Recruitment Group, adds “There is definitely a right way to resign and leave a great impression of your professionalism – be respectful, polite, cooperative and work hard during your notice period. Also give yourself time to say goodbye to your peers and managers and, where appropriate, swap numbers and contact details.”

Finally remember to feel good about leaving – moving jobs is all part of the working environment and no matter how others might perceive your move only you truly know why this step is worth taking.

Established in 2007 the Management Recruitment Group is unlike many other recruiters you will come across; we are a specialist mid to senior level management recruiter - a hybrid between an executive search business and a recruitment consultancy. Our consultants, currently over 35 strong, work in specialist teams across three locations covering a broad range of sectors from Construction to Property, Estates and Facilities Management,  Real Estate and Development.