Now that you’ve won that new role, there is one final hurdle you must clear with your current employer. Your resignation. How you handle your resignation (and your final days on the job) can mark you as a Professional or be a black-mark on your career record for years to come.
In actuality, the process starts when you first decide to make a change. Searching for a new job while currently employed is a delicate balancing act. As long as you’re employed, you have a moral and ethical obligation to your current employer (no matter how good or bad your current situation is). You need to remain focused while on the clock and not let your job search consume you.
Don’t use company resources to launch or supply your job search. That means, the office computer, internet, phone, photo copier, paper, postage, etc. Remember, they’re paying you to do a job, not find a new one.
DO NOT broadcast your intentions to your co-workers (no matter how close you think you are), and keep a low profile on your social media sites regarding your plans. It’s not your coworkers’ responsibility to keep your secret. Just as you assume they would never say anything, they feel the same way about the “trusted friends” they tell. The last thing you want is for your boss to inquire about your job search. Those conversations usually result in an unplanned termination.
When it comes down to actually tendering your resignation, do it in person. If, it is logistically impossibly to meet face to face, then at least call your manager. Either way, the message needs to be delivered by you. Always follow up your verbal resignation with an official letter, which should be delivered at the conclusion of your conversation.
Don’t’ burn your bridges. No matter what the circumstances motivating your decision to leave, take the high road and leave on good terms. You never know when your paths may cross again, and the last thing you want in your career is to create a enemy.
Once you’ve tendered your resignation, you can’t just coast through your remaining days/weeks. You need to work as hard (or harder) than usual. Tie up all loose ends. Leave everything on your desk in good order. If you know the person(s) who will be taking over for you, take the time (or at least offer) to bring them up to speed. And know this, no matter how good of an employee you were during your tenure, fingers will be pointed in your direction once you leave. It’s an unwritten corporate law, that the person who just left is to blame for everything. None the less, maintain your integrity and do the right thing.
Once the farewell party is over and you’re on your way to your new adventure, DO NOT bash your former employer or coworkers. Especially on Social Media sites. Sooner or later it will come back to haunt you.
The impression you make when you leave a company is as important as the impression you make when you join.