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 Resigning can be stressful and emotional. Whether you’ve been retrenched or there has been a restructure and the company is downsizing or whether you leave on your own accord ensure that you leave graciously. Consider your options very carefully before you resign.

 Be honest about why you are leaving 

There are possibly three reasons why you are resigning:

  • You have an opportunity to enhance your career in a new environment
  • Your feel you are not being appreciated and being paid enough
  • You absolutely cannot work where you are anymore – the environment is insufferable

Once you have submitted your letter of resignation and it has been accepted, be prepared for the consequences of your decision. These could range from a counter-offer to being snubbed by your bosses or colleagues.

A lot rides on how you resign. You may be scared to resign because you feel you “owe” your boss or company for the support, career advancement or loyalty which has been shown to you. You have to do what’s best for you.

Be sensitive how you break the news to your colleagues. 

DON’T… take to social media platforms to show displeasure or to post disparaging remarks about your existing job or boss. No matter the reasons for leaving.

With many employers now checking social media postings as part of background checks, it’s best to refrain from negativity online.

What you put on social media is out there forever. Somebody, some day in the future could find it and hold it against you. 

Before you leave a position:

  • Return all company-owned items such as laptops, cell phones, keys etc.
  • DON’T collect the company’s client list or intellectual property for your own personal use. You may be in violation of the law and could face legal action 
  • DON’T burn bridges

Irrespective of how you really feel, you need to keep this process as uncomplicated and as professional as possible.

This is not a time to vent or put personal grudges in your letter or use the opportunity to criticise your employer. 

Handling your exit from the company inappropriately can destroy years of good service. It is likely that sometime in the future a potential employer will contact your current employer for a reference.

In fact… once you are working out your notice period, you should:

  • Perform to the best of your ability
  • Complete projects
  • Work overtime if necessary
  • Leave on a positive note

Your letter of resignation should state only the facts. 

You are not obliged to state where you are going. Should you have an exit interview, you may wish to be constructive in your reasons for leaving – lack of opportunity, company vision, better prospects, change of career are typical reasons. Do not be confrontational or angry during this process. 

If you have learnt new skills or advanced your career or used it as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, that’s great. If it was a bad experience, then remember what mistakes were made and make sure you don’t make them again.

Either way, going graciously is the way to go.

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