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Hand in your notice and leave your job gracefully (Read 169 times)

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Gerry1964

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I guess that there are many reasons that you might leave your job, but whether you fancy a change, or your current role no longer feels right for you, handing in your notice is a big move. Before you hand over your letter of resignation, take a moment to think through your options and be 100% sure you’re doing the right thing. If you decide that it’s definitely time to leave, then you’ll need to start thinking about your letter of resignation and having a chat with your boss. This can often feel uncomfortable – but try not to let it make you feel too anxious, you need to do what’s best for you and your career.

But it’s not as simple as handing in your letter and saying goodbye. You don’t want to leave your job on a bad note, so make sure you follow all the proper channels and stay out your notice period. You should also do all you can to aid the company in finding and supporting your replacement. If you’ve never resigned before, or if it’s been a while, here’s all you need to know about handing in your notice and leaving your job gracefully.

Handing in your notice and leaving on good terms

Now you’ve decided it’s time to move on, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for leaving. If you’re unsure about the process of handing in your notice, you could always double check the staff handbook and look in your contract to confirm your notice period. Next you’ll need to think about writing your formal letter, and whether or not you’ll want to request an exit interview. You should also prepare yourself for all possible outcomes (don’t let us make you feel nervous, it’s just always best to be prepared!)

Writing your resignation

First and foremost you’re going to have to write your letter of resignation. This doesn’t have to be long and you don’t have to go into detail about your reasons for leaving. This will need to be set out as a formal letter as it’s usually a formality for HR, and will go on your employment records. Start the letter by stating the position you’re resigning from and the date of your final day of work.

Example:

Quote
Dear {your boss’s name},
 
Please accept this letter of resignation from my position as {your job title} with {company name}. Per the terms of my contract, my last day of work will be {date of your last day}.

It’s also nice to thank your boss for the opportunity to work with them, you want to end things on a good note! Remember, you may need a reference from them down the line, so even if you’re thrilled to be leaving, you should avoid burning your bridges!

Quote
I have really appreciated my {number of years of employment} years at {company name}, and all the opportunities that it brought me. I’ve learnt some great skills that I will take with me through my career, and have really enjoyed having the pleasure of work with some great people.
 
In your sign off you should state your willingness to make this transaction as smooth as you can, and give the company your best wishes.


There are many reasons that you might leave your job, but whether you fancy a change, or your current role no longer feels right for you, handing in your notice is a big move. Before you hand over your letter of resignation, take a moment to think through your options and be 100% sure you’re doing the right thing. If you decide that it’s definitely time to leave, then you’ll need to start thinking about your letter of resignation and having a chat with your boss. This can often feel uncomfortable – but try not to let it make you feel too anxious, you need to do what’s best for you and your career.

But it’s not as simple as handing in your letter and saying goodbye. You don’t want to leave your job on a bad note, so make sure you follow all the proper channels and stay out your notice period. You should also do all you can to aid the company in finding and supporting your replacement. If you’ve never resigned before, or if it’s been a while, here’s all you need to know about handing in your notice and leaving your job gracefully.

Handing in your notice and leaving on good terms

Now you’ve decided it’s time to move on, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for leaving. If you’re unsure about the process of handing in your notice, you could always double check the staff handbook and look in your contract to confirm your notice period. Next you’ll need to think about writing your formal letter, and whether or not you’ll want to request an exit interview. You should also prepare yourself for all possible outcomes (don’t let us make you feel nervous, it’s just always best to be prepared!)

Writing your resignation

First and foremost you’re going to have to write your letter of resignation. This doesn’t have to be long and you don’t have to go into detail about your reasons for leaving. This will need to be set out as a formal letter as it’s usually a formality for HR, and will go on your employment records. Start the letter by stating the position you’re resigning from and the date of your final day of work.

Example:

Quote
Dear {your boss’s name},
 
Please accept this letter of resignation from my position as {your job title} with {company name}. Per the terms of my contract, my last day of work will be {date of your last day}.

It’s also nice to thank your boss for the opportunity to work with them, you want to end things on a good note! Remember, you may need a reference from them down the line, so even if you’re thrilled to be leaving, you should avoid burning your bridges!

Example:

Quote
I have really appreciated my {number of years of employment} years at {company name}, and all the opportunities that it brought me. I’ve learnt some great skills that I will take with me through my career, and have really enjoyed having the pleasure of work with some great people.

In your sign off you should state your willingness to make this transaction as smooth as you can, and give the company your best wishes.

Example:

Quote
I will do what I can to help make my leaving as easy as possible for both me and the company. Let me know what you would like me to do in the way of handing over my responsibilities during my final {month, two weeks… whatever your notice period is}.
 
Best wishes to you and all at {company name} in the future.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
{Your name}

Book your meeting

Once you feel completely ready to take the leap, book a meeting with your boss – it’s time to hand in your letter. Explain this situation to them, and find out what the next steps are. You can also take this opportunity to find out what they’d like you to do in the way of handing over your responsibilities.

Prepare for any outcome

Even if you get on well with your boss, and they’re usually very lovely, you should still prepare yourself for a negative reaction. Though hopefully they’ll be accepting, you need to remember that they are losing a member of staff and now have to begin preparing for your departure – this is especially true if your resignation has come quite suddenly. So don’t take it personally if they are uncharacteristically quiet or don’t react as you’d hoped – they’ll come round.

If you have a notice period, generally you’ll be expected to work as normal for the duration of this. However, you should prepare for all eventualities, some employers may ask you to leave with immediate effect (although hopefully this won’t happen!) If this is the case, you can ask for the reason behind your immediate dismissal, but try not to let it get personal and cause a dispute. Instead leave gracefully as requested – it’s useful to be aware that if this happens, the company will still have to pay you for your contractual notice period as normal.

You should also prepare yourself for a counter offer. If your current company really want to keep you they might approach you with a counter offer in an attempt to get you to stay. Prepare for this situation by thinking about why it is that you’re leaving – is a pay rise or better benefits enough to make you stay? Or is it time to move on? You may not be able to make a final decision until you’ve seen the counter offer, but just be aware that this could happen.

Tell your boss in person

Once you know you’re leaving, don’t tell anyone else until your boss knows! Even if you think you can trust your colleagues, office gossip is inevitable and these things always seem to have a way of getting out. Your boss is going to be much happier to hear that you’ve made the decision to leave directly from you, rather than hearing it through the grapevine before you’ve had a chance to tell them.

Stay strong

It can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but once you’ve decided to leave, it’s going to have to happen at some point. Don’t put off handing your notice in, get the ball rolling as soon as you can. During the conversation with your boss, be sure to stay strong! It’s difficult for any boss to hear a member of their staff wants to leave, and it also means that they now have to find a replacement for your position. Whatever is said during your meeting remember, you’re handing in your notice for a reason, don’t be made to feel guilty for doing so.

Giving a reason for leaving

You don’t need to give details about why you’re leaving in your resignation letter. If you get on well with your boss you could always tell them in person, but you have no contractual obligation to give a reason if you don’t want to. If you have some issues you would like your boss to be aware of, maybe issues that have influenced your decision to leave, you can request an exit interview. This will give you the chance to discuss any problems you may have had, and hopefully they can help to rectify these for future employees. Even if you’re upset, make sure you discuss any problems calmly, you don’t want to leave the job with a sour taste in your mouth.

Notice periods

A notice period is the amount of time you have to continue in your position after you’ve handed in your letter of resignation. Notice periods are often a key part of your contract and can range from a few weeks to a few months. If this isn’t the case, and you aren’t given a formal notice period, then standard practice is two weeks or more – it’s better if you can give your boss a bit of time to prepare for your departure.

Don’t slack off

Just because you know you’re leaving (and will now have your final day confirmed) it doesn’t mean you should spend the next few weeks doing as little work as possible. You are still an employee of the company and are still being paid to do your job, so avoid procrastinating on Facebook or doing personal errands during work hours. It’s important to remember that when you get a new job, you’re probably going to need a reference from your boss – so you’ll want to leave a great lasting impression. Keep working as hard as you can for the remainder of your time at your current company!

Inform your colleagues

Even if you try to avoid it, we all know that office gossip happens. So once you’ve told your boss that you’re leaving, find a suitable way to inform the rest of your colleagues – check with your boss first that they are happy for you to do this. Perhaps the best way to do this is to circulate an email to everyone just to let them know, and make sure you remain professional.

Quote
Hello all,
 
Just wanted to inform you that I will be leaving {company name} as of {date of last day}.
 
It’s been a pleasure to work with you all during my time here and thank you for all the support you’ve given me.
 
Best of luck in the future!
 
{Your name}

Handover documents

A great way to make a final good impression on your boss is to help them with the handover process, so that once you are gone your replacement can begin working effectively as quickly as possible. By writing a handover document you can give your boss, and the person filling your position, a comprehensive guide to what you do, and how best to do it.

Begin writing your handover document by making a list of all your responsibilities. You can then go through each one and write an in-depth guide to how and why you do your job. You can also take this chance to explain any specific software that you use, and leave any usernames and passwords they may need when they start. Make sure you’ve tied up any loose ends with your work load, this could be things like finalising projects or giving the appropriate forwarding details to clients. Once you’ve done all these things, you can leave the company and begin your next adventure – whatever that may be!

Handing your notice into your boss can feel scary, but once it’s over you can begin to tie up any loose ends and prepare for leaving. Leaving on a good note is important, especially as you might need a reference one day, so remember not to become lazy just because you know you’re going soon! Don’t burn bridges by make an abrupt exit, stay out your notice period and do everything you can to make your leaving as easy as possible for the company.