How to resign from your current job without burning any bridges (A step-by-step guide)

When you leave an organization, you need to leave on good terms. Here's a step-by-step guide to resigning from your job in style.

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"I never thought I would regret leaving my first job on such bad terms...especially after so many years," a friend confided in me. 

"Yes, why now? Hasn't it been over a decade? Surely you aren't thinking of rejoining there?" I asked him.

"No.. but there was a role I've been eyeing for the longest time at ABC Inc. When the incumbent left the job, I sent in my application hoping I would get the job. Everything was going well. I had aced the first two interviews and had a final interview with my to-be manager." he replied. 

"So what happened?" I probed further. 

"As luck would have it, this manager was my boss at my first job. I had left that job on bad terms and cut off all ties with everyone from there. I knew when I walked in through the door and saw him seated from across the table that he wasn't going to hire me. Sure enough, a few days later, I got the call that they had chosen someone else for the role." he replied dejectedly. 

Thus, a simple mistake he had committed over a decade ago as a newly minted professional had come back to haunt him when he vied for his dream job. The corporate world truly is an unforgiving place.

Don't make the same mistakes that he did. If you're planning to resign from your job in the near future, follow the steps listed below:

1. Get all your ducks in a row

Before you inform your current manager and organization of your intent to resign, make sure you are well prepared. You should have your new job offer in writing and have done your research on the exit protocol at your current organization, including the notice period to be served. 

2. Set up a meeting with your manager

Unless you / your manager work remotely or in different geographies, you should schedule a face-to-face meeting with him / her. He / She should be the first person you inform of your intention to resign. It will not reflect well on you if he /she hears it through the grapevine. 

3. Prepare a script

Before you go for the meeting, be clear about what you wish to talk about. You should inform your manager and the HR personnel in-charge about your last working date, reason for departure and also inquire about exit protocol such as whom to handover IT Assets to, where to claim expenses, etc. 

4. Inform your stakeholders

Don't commit the mistake of leaving your job without taking time to inform your stakeholders, both internal and external. If you are in charge of a team, take time to meet with them and inform them personally of your decision. For other stakeholders, you can draft an email. A template has been included below. Feel free to customize it based on your level of familiarity with them. 

Template of Resignation Letter for Stakeholders

Dear XYZ 

I'm touching base to inform you that I’ll be leaving my position as [role] at [organization] with effect from [date].

I wanted to let you know how great it’s been to get acquainted with you. I've always admired your [skill / talent]. I’ve learned so much from you during my time here, especially when we collaborated on [project / task name] and the way you [skill or thing].

[for clients / vendors]: I have shared your contact details with my successor and updated him / her on our project status. Do feel free to reach out to me in case of any unfinished business that you would like me to take care of for you.

I will always look back on my time at [company] fondly thanks to [managers / peers / vendors / clients ] like you. Please don't hesitate to contact me at [email/phone number] if you would like to stay in touch. 

Regards,

ABC

The end of your tenure at an organization doesn't have to mean the end of professional relationships. When you follow these steps while you leave your job, you will ensure that you leave a positive impression as well. 

Questions for Reflection

What other things should you keep in mind before / while informing of your intent to resign?

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Chaitra K
 

With a background in Literature and Psychology, and an MBA in Human Resources Management, Chaitra is responsible for the design and production of NKoach’s courses, workshops and corporate training programs. Her mission is to help people discover their passion and become better versions of themselves.

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