Career Advice / Career Switch / Job Change

Resigning gracefully: Leave your company the right way

. 4 min read . Written by Muskan Miglani
Resigning gracefully: Leave your company the right way

Gearing up to sign the offer letter at your new dream job? But what about your old job? Signing an offer letter in one place inevitably means typing out the resignation letter in another.

But a lot of times, resigning can cause broken relationships and cold conversations. That doesn’t have to be the case for you. You can resign from your old job without burning bridges with your colleagues and seniors.

Keeping connections is one of the most important parts of the corporate world– a lot of amazing opportunities come from word of mouth, not to forget referrals. If you’re wondering how to move on professionally while keeping old ties, here is everything you need to know.

How to leave your old job without burning bridges

1. Tell your immediate boss in person

Once you decide to take the plunge, tell your immediate boss in person. If you’re working from home, schedule a call with them and let them know. Be honest and straightforward about it, and tell them the reason why you’ve decided to move on. Don’t be negative in your reasons; you don’t want to say bad things about the company you’ve worked with for so long.

Make sure you thank them for supporting and mentoring you, and tell them how difficult it was for you to make this decision. Informing your manager in advance ensures they don’t get to know through someone else, while also giving them the time to process your decision.

They can further start on planning your replacement and managing and reallocating work among others.

2. Talk to HR

As a next step, talk to HR before turning in your papers. By doing this, you can avoid surprising them over a direct email. Like your manager, your HR manager must also get this information through you, instead of from the office scuttlebug.

Be neutral about the reason you’re leaving, and understand the exit process thoroughly. Don’t be aggressive if something doesn’t suit you; just try and talk it out without turning a conversation into a debate.

3.Don’t make an announcement before turning in your papers

One of the most important things while going through the resignation process is to keep everything under wraps until you’ve turned in your papers. Unless your resignation has been signed, don’t go about telling your peers, even if they’re your team members.

You don’t want to be a part of the office grapevine even before things are official. Once the process is done, you can make a formal announcement or let your friends know about your decision. Again, avoid being negative about the company, whatever the reason for your resignation.

4. Write an email

Writing an email is the official notification to your employer that you’re leaving. While writing your email, make sure to tag the HR at the official HR email id, your immediate boss, and the company head if needed. You can also tag your personal email id so you have proof of your resignation when you no longer have access to the company mail.

In your mail, mention that your time with the company is coming to an end. Write some good words about your time at the firm, and ensure you clearly mention the date of your last working day as per the contract.

In the end, also mention that you will be readily available to make the transition as smooth for the company as possible, so no one faces a problem at all.

5. Give a proper notice period

As mentioned above, give a proper notice period to your company. If your current employer has a prescribed notice period, adhere to that. Otherwise, a minimum period of two weeks is considered professionally appreciable.

In case there is a need for you to leave urgently for personal reasons, or have to join prior to two weeks at the new company, try and talk about the same with the HR. There are chances that a way will be worked out for you.

6. Do a detailed handover

Once you’ve written an email and informed your colleagues about leaving, start your handover process. Create documents and excel sheets if needed, to elaborate everything that your colleagues and boss need to know to take over your work when you’re not available.

If someone has already been recruited to take over your work, take them through your work process over multiple calls to ensure there are no hiccups.

7. Be honest on your exit interview

All companies host an exit interview when an employee leaves. The procedure is quite simple— they ask you if your handover has been completed and then ask you questions about your stint at the company. You are also asked about your inputs for the improvement of the firm. It’s better to be positive and honest during your exit interview; don’t use it as an opportunity to express aggression.

8. Leave personal messages

Once you’ve fulfilled all the necessary formalities and sent over your handover mail, send personal messages or emails to all your friends and seniors. This ensures that you leave on a positive note, while keeping all the bridges intact. Try to keep in touch with your colleagues as much as possible, and don’t abandon friendships that you might have built here.

You never know whom you might cross paths with again, so keep a good relationship with everyone.

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