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How to Have a Graceful Exit from Your Current Position

How to Have a Graceful Exit from Your Current Position

December 2018 by Tony Nguyen

How to resign gracefully

So, you’ve just found out you’ve landed that perfect new job. You feel excited and nervous and can’t wait to get started in the next stage of your career. But then your smile fades a little as you remember you’re still faced with the task of resigning from your current position.


Whether you’re leaving a job you love to pursue new opportunities, or can’t finish up quick enough, it’s important to resign on good terms. As tempting as it may be to leave a bad boss with some choice parting words, it’s really not worth it. Most industries are small enough that there’s a fair chance you’ll cross paths again down the track, so it’s smarter to keep your bridges (and good reputation) intact.

No matter the circumstances, resigning is never easy. But, with a little forward planning and the right mindset you can ensure your exit from your current position is as pain-free as possible. Here are five simple tips to help you exit gracefully.


1. Make It Official

Once the details of your new job are confirmed, it’s time to make your resignation official. Schedule a meeting with your manager to break the news in person and put some thought into how you’ll explain your reasons for leaving. Always be honest and try and keep it positive by focusing on the opportunities your new role is offering rather than the things you disliked about your current position. Next, write up a resignation letter that is short, sharp and to the point to give to your manager when you meet.


2. Give Adequate Notice

As eager as you are to move on, always be fair and reasonable with your notice. While two weeks is often acceptable, management positions or specialised roles that can be difficult to fill may require longer. Being as flexible as possible with your end date takes the pressure off your existing employer and shows that you are willing to do all you can to help find and train someone new.


3. Breaking the News

Always, always tell your manager first and make sure it’s in person – never by email! If it’s not possible to meet face to face because you work from a different location, schedule a phone call. You should be well-prepared before the meeting with a clear idea of how you’ll explain your departure, have your resignation letter in hand and be ready to offer a reasonable (and flexible) end date. Briefly explain why you are moving on and be sure to thank them for the opportunity they have given you. You should also discuss and agree on how the news of your resignation will be shared with your colleagues to avoid any problems.


4.  Assist with The Handover

Put some effort in to ensure a smooth entry for your replacement. Tie up any loose ends before you finish up and make detailed notes on files that are still open, especially if you won’t be there to provide training. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve done the right thing and can move on to your next role with a clear conscience. Think how grateful you’ll be if your predecessor does the same for you in your new role!


5. Be Professional and Work Hard Until the End

The time between resigning and your last day can be a little awkward, depending on the circumstances and reactions to your news. The best way to handle it is to remain positive and professional and to work hard until your last minute. When you keep doing your best and have a smile on your face (not the gloating type of course), the final impression you leave on your managers and colleagues will be positive and lasting.


Final Word on a Graceful Exit

We all know that resigning is difficult, but with some clever planning and a positive attitude, you can pull it off without losing any friends. Leaving on good terms allows you to start your new position focused, with a clear mind and no baggage. Plus, if your new role doesn’t work out and you find yourself job hunting in the future, you’ll be comfortable contacting your previous manager to request a reference.


If you’re ready to move to a challenging new role, or have an important position to fill, talk to our experienced recruitment consultants today.


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