5 essential steps to resigning that will help you get future jobs
Resigning from your job is a key moment in your career. Follow these 5 essential steps to resigning that will help you get future jobs and then use our 100 day plan for your new job.
1. Always speak to your manager before sending your formal resignation email
Nobody likes surprises. People like surprises even less when they are delivered impersonally by text or email.
Always speak to your manager face-to-face before resigning. If speaking to your manager face-to-face isn’t possible, then speak to your boss on the boss. If that isn’t possible then send them an email, but make this one informal before following it with your formal resignation.
Keeping your manager onside when you resign is a key step in a smooth resignation. If they feel that they have been involved in the process they will be less likely to be resentful and unhelpful.
Once you have had the conversation, send them the formal resignation email. Here’s our template and guide for how to write your resignation letter.
2. Have your positive exit story prepared and tell everyone
Sharing your story is a key skill for your successful career. Leaving a company is a test of your ability to tell your story (and keep it positive!).
Positivity trumps negativity. When leaving a job it can be easy to focus on the negatives. The great news is that you have a new job, so focus on the positives! The positives of your old (current) role and organisation, and the new organisation.
In your exit story, you want to avoid too much comparison between the organisations or roles and focus on the positives: “I have really enjoyed the opportunities to grow in Printers R Us. I got this great opportunity at Laser Printers and I just couldn’t turn it down, they are really passionate people and excited me about where they are going.”
Being positive doesn’t mean ignoring obvious negatives. For instance, Dale might have applied for a promotion and been turned down. Everyone knew he applied for that role, so he needs to address that in his story. The key, is avoiding talking negatively about missing out on the promotion: “I have really enjoyed working here, the team are fantastic and we really deliver for customers. The opportunity for promotion got me really excited. When I missed out on that opportunity I saw the Laser Printers ad (they reached out to me) and I found that the chance to test myself in a more senior role was really exciting.”
3. Network, network, network – it’s who you know, not what you know
Networking has a bad reputation. Think of networking simply as who you know and who knows you. You don’t need to go to a cocktail reception to be a good networker, you just need to talk to people.
Networking helps you and helps those you connect with (it isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a selfish pursuit).
Rightly or wrongly, who you know will be key to your progress in your career. If a manager knows a candidate then they are either right at the top of the list (or right at the bottom) for a role.
Leaving a job means networking with people you worked with will become more difficult. Make sure you reach out to these people before you leave. Build the connections that will help you and them get jobs in the future.
4. LinkedIn recommendations – great for your online brand
Your online brand is playing a bigger feature in your ability to get a job.
LinkedIn recommendations are an excellent way to demonstrate that you are a quality employee.
A key target for your networking is to find 2/3 senior people to recommend you on LinkedIn. Ask them face-to-face and then send the recommendation request through LinkedIn.
The recommendation could come from your manager. Try to find the most senior people who will impress other people when they look at your profile (as long as they have something positive to say!).
5. Leave your job behind you
Let go of your old job. It can be easy to think your irreplaceable – you’re not. Organisations move on everyday with people leaving and new people joining.
Make sure you leave on good terms, but don’t kill yourself in the handover process.
Ultimately, an organisation will work out ways to do your job with you there or not.
Once you have left, let it go and focus on the new job.
Now you know the 5 essential steps to resigning, avoid these three common mistakes when resigning from a job and then use our 100 day plan for your new job.