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Posted by chris on November 3, 2014

How to Resign From a Job Gracefully

You don't have to burn bridges when resigning from a job. No matter what the circumstances surrounding your resignation, you can exit gracefully, leaving a good impression and maintaining a network that may help you find future employment. Unless you know you won't ever run into your former employers and coworkers don't try to use your resignation as a grand statement.


Don't resign when you are under duress.  Always wait the obligatory 24 hours to ensure you remain calm and graceful.  Resigning whilst you're feeling very emotional will often mean that you lose your temper and say things you might regret.

Refer to your employment contract and give the required notice period in writing before resigning from your job. Write a letter of resignation that simply states why you are leaving and the effective date of your resignation. Don't be accusatory in the letter --- keep it positive and try to include a few lines about how your time with the company has benefited you. If you are unable to explain your reasons for leaving without being negative, opt for something generic, such as the need to "change your career path" or to "seek out a new challenge."

Approach your boss with a succession/transition plan. If you were a good employee chances are you performed a lot of unique duties and had specialized knowledge of your company. When you resign from your job, that knowledge will be lost. Make your boss's job easier by offering to document such things or train another employee to do them.

Make your last few weeks your best. Resist the temptation to slack off when you resign from your job. Work hard during the last few weeks. It will leave a great impression on your boss and coworkers. You will thank yourself if you need a work reference from them in the future.

Don't vent or bash other employees after you resign. It may be tempting to go on a 10-minute diatribe about the rotten coworker who spreads gossip all over the office, but this will only damage you in the long run. Don't say anything negative during the exit interview and don't blog about it either. If the company has a problem employee, they likely already know about it and have chosen not to act.

Write a short, sweet goodbye email on your last day. A proper goodbye email should say things: goodbye, thank you and good luck. Send it only to people you've actually worked with --- don't send it to the whole company's mailing list.


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