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It’s never easy saying goodbye, but when the time is right, you know you need to move forward to a different place of employment. But before you make that final step to resign from your job, you should consider the following points :
- Signed, sealed, and delivered: Before you resign from your job, make sure that you have read your new contract, signed it, returned it, and your new employer has indicated that they have received the signed contract. The last thing you want is a misunderstanding about any aspect of your new job, including salary, start date, and the terms of employment after you have resigned from your current job.
- Terms of your current employment: Re-read the documents you signed when you first started at your current employer – are there any confidentiality rules you need to note, did you follow the intellectual property aspects? Are you entitled to any stock options or vacation days? Is your employer allowed to give references? Are there ay restrictions about communicating with your manager or colleagues? It is best to refresh your memory sooner rather than experience an unpleasant surprise later.
- Keep it simple: Many people fret over what to put in a letter of resignation. When in doubt, keep it simple: indicate that you are resigning, the day of resignation, the amount of notice you are giving, and the last day of work. You can add pleasantries if you want, but that depends on the nature of your resignation as well as your relationship with your manager. You can always exchange those niceties in person instead after you resign from job.
- Exit, stage left: At some point in your employment, someone has probably left the organization. If so, think back to those circumstances – were they allowed to work through to the last stated day or were they escorted out immediately? If you are not sure, best to be prepared – take all personal items home, clear out your email and any other personal documents that are not company property. As a best practice, indicate the status of your projects, make your passwords available, sign in any documents. Even if you do end up staying until the end after you resign from job, you will have already completed this process.
- Your last impression: Some companies schedule what is known as an exit interview – a meeting with a Human Resources representative to discuss your leaving and the comments or concerns that you have about your soon-to-be former employer. These interviews can be tricky – do you say exactly what you want, do you let them know of true issues in the company, or do you play it safe? This depends on how you feel about the company – will you need them as a possible future reference, can you afford to burn your bridges, or do you want the company to know about problems that could be resolved? As well, the company may ask you whom your new employer is – you do not need to answer that question. You are not obligated to say anything about your future plans.
While we all may have little dreams about leaving an employer in a blaze of glory, hopefully most people won’t. You are a professional, so when you resign from your job and leave your employer, be gracious, be professional, but remember to protect yourself too.