Resigning: How to do it the right way

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A young woman in an office wearing businesswear who is happy to resign from her role.

Handing in your resignation is rarely a walk in the park. For one, how do you navigate your approach with your line manager and let them know the job is no longer for you? If you’re confident you’ve made the right decision and it’s time to leave for pastures new, there is a right way to resign. Below we’ve collated some ideas on how to do it in style with your head held high.

Speak to your line manager

In an ideal world, you will have spoken to your line manager ahead of starting to look for a new role. We say this because they may not have any idea about what’s happening or how you’re feeling about your position. By giving them some constructive feedback, they may well seek to improve or change your circumstances. Explain how you’re feeling about the role and what you’re unsure about. At least once you’ve explored all your options in your current place of work you can be confident in the decision you’ve made.

Clean out your desk

If, however, you’ve come to the decision that moving on is the best solution, ensure your desk is cleaned out of all your personal belongings before you resign – just in case you are asked to leave straight away. This includes deleting your personal emails and files from your computer.

Don’t take any of their property

Don’t download any files that are the property of your employer and not you as an individual. Equally, ensure you give back any laptops, phones, door passes etc and if you need any clarification on what belongs to whom, just check the company’s privacy policy.

Write a formal resignation letter

Write a dated letter to your line manager stating your notice period and confirming your last day. The content of the letter is entirely up to you but we’d recommend keeping it positive. After all, it’s preferable to end on an optimistic note and thank them for the opportunities they’ve provided you.

If you have nothing positive to say, don’t say anything

And certainly don’t scream and shout. Outbursts and shouting matches are absolutely not the way to go. You don’t want to burn bridges so hold it in and vent at home. Don’t gossip to colleagues or be negative about the reasons you’re leaving.

Notice periods

If you possibly can, offer to extend your notice period so as to give them plenty of opportunity to replace your role. Of course you’re only obliged to stay for as long as your contracted notice period dictates, so this isn’t a must, especially if you have another permanent role to start. By the same token, don’t be tempted to leave straight away immediately and slam the door on your way out – you could be in breach of your contract.

Ask when you’ll receive your final payment

You receive your P45 when you leave your role with your final payslip and you’ll be required by your new employer to hand the P45 in to them. If not, you could be put on an emergency tax code.

Be honest in your exit interview

Be constructive. Your comments may help the business improve in ways they didn’t realise they needed to.

Ask for a reference

This may come in handy when you’re looking for the next dream role!

And finally, don’t forget to say goodbye! If you want to stay in touch with your colleagues, leave your personal details with them so they can contact you.

Have you resigned but don’t have a new job to go to? Temporary work is a great way to explore different working environments until you find the next long-term position. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Author David Morel Tiger Recruitment Team

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