August 26, 2014

Keep it simple when you resign (and don’t burn your bridges)…

shutterstock_209485435You’ve worked with your recruitment consultant and you have secured an offer of employment for an exciting new job.  It’s time to let your present workplace know. Conforming to the correct method of resignation can affect your career. After all, a good reference is not just valuable but vital. So how do you resign without burning your bridges?

Your most urgent task is to inform your manager. A letter of resignation is the formal way to communicate your action and it acts as a legal document stating the date from which you wish your notice period to begin.

How you write your letter depends on the circumstances of your departure, but it should be addressed to your manager and include the notice of termination of employment, when this is effective from and your signature.

If you are leaving on good terms you may want to add an extra sentence or two, thanking your boss for the opportunities you’ve been given and expressing your regret.

But if your resignation is in response to adverse working conditions or a clash of personalities with your boss or another colleague, it can be dangerous to go into detail. In this case, simply state your intention to resign. There is no need to elaborate.

It may help to rehearse your reasons for leaving before talking to your manager. If you don’t want to reveal where you’re going, you’re within your rights to keep this to yourself.

Make sure you find the right moment; just before your manager is about to make a presentation to the board of directors is not a good time.

If there is likely to be a handover period to a colleague or a new employee, reassure your boss you’ll be helpful and co-operative.

Finally, once you have given your letter to your manager, keep your resignation confidential; your boss will appreciate being the one to decide who else to tell, how and when to break the news.

The trick is to do your best not to burn your bridges. Recruitment agencies and recruitment consultants will generally ask you for multiple referees when applying for jobs, so it’s important that you resign on the best possible terms.

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