The Art of Saying Goodbye

The Art of Saying Goodbye

In business, final impressions matter just as much as first impressions. In some cases, perhaps even more, because they provide the final chapter of your history with your employer. How you’ll be remembered, and how your reputation will be impacted, depends on how you handle the breakup.

Quitting abruptly or callously (although probably immensely satisfying in that blaze-of-glory sense) can leave a big stain on your career. Especially if you burn a valuable employment reference bridge.

Resigning properly, on the other hand, makes you look proficient. So, let’s get into the details on how to look like a top-shelf candidate during your next occupational move.

Initial Preparations

Before you discuss your plans to move on to a new job with anyone at your company – and we do mean anyone – make sure that your personal arrangements are in order. It’s best not to indicate your intent to leave right away. Leave the door open for yourself as long as possible in case you need to change your mind.

Throughout this process, leave your co-workers out of it. Word travels quickly in just about every company, and you want to be the one in control of your message.

Forming a Schedule

Establish the appropriate timeframe for your company/industry regarding your resignation notice. Two weeks is the most common, but certain positions can require a lot more notice to be given. Most companies have their preferred timeframe outlined in their policies. Check your handbook and any relevant contracts.

Get to Writing

People often fret over the content of a resignation letter, but composing one is simple and doesn’t have to be a chore. Check out our resignation letter breakdown that’s included with this article for a handy guide on how to put yours together. (Also, visit this article on our website to download a sample letter.)

Digital Sweep

One important thing to take care of before you announce your resignation is the removal of any personal material and account information from company computers. You may or may not have access to your computer once you state your intent to resign, so it’s best to take care of this stuff beforehand.

Make sure any personal files, photos, and other items are transferred off your work computer. Sign out of any important personal websites like Facebook, Gmail, or others and purge any saved passwords. You won’t want a stranger accessing this information at a later time, so double check that any of your automatic sign-ins are cleared.

Resign with Spine

When it comes time to actually resign, do so with a strong backbone. Ask for a face-to-face meeting with your employer and clearly state your intentions.

Don’t resign over a text message or email. That would be like breaking up with a significant other via emojis. Be the type of person that your employer would want to potentially hire back one day, if the opportunity were to arise. Now is not the time to gripe, but to celebrate your achievements and focus on the positives that came from your time with that company.

The Final Weeks

Your final weeks of employment with your organization may quite possibly be your most remembered. Don’t slack off. Assist with a smooth transition of responsibilities as best you can and, most of all, keep negative thoughts and comments out of the office and absolutely off social media. Your reputation is important, so keep things professional.


Download sample resignation letters here! 

Sample Resignation Letter for HR Department – JAN-FEB 2020 (Word)

Sample Resignation Letter for HR Department – JAN-FEB 2020 (PDF)

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