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How to resign with dignity

Posted 6 months ago by Damian Rhodes

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This article by Damian Rhodes of FocusCore Recruit, first appeared in the Classified Post

The first quarter of the year is the most popular time for resignations – when people tend to jump ship after cashing in bonuses and stock options, or lack thereof. If you are preparing to leave your company, bear in mind that your resignation should be handled carefully to ensure it doesn’t have a negative impact on your career.

  • Whenever possible, resign in person – not via phone or text message. It is important to meet with your superior and explain briefly that you are resigning. You should also give them a dated, signed letter and follow up by email.
  • Do not criticise the company or complain about colleagues – at least initially. At a later stage, during an exit interview, it may be appropriate to share reasons why you had decided to leave. Be balanced and factual, without being unduly influenced by emotions.
  • Do not ever accept a counter-offer of a higher salary. Smart people realise that a counter-offer simply means a pay review brought forward, loyalty questioned and influence diminished. Accepting counter-offers is usually a futile exercise. 
  • Agree on a timeline and communications plan. It is important to ensure that the resignation is announced in a timely manner, and that a thorough handover takes place. This is especially important if you are managing a team.
  • In the final weeks or months of your role, do the best you can. Your soon-to-be former colleagues could end up as your new clients, or, if things don’t work out, future references.
  • If you’re given garden leave, in which you’re paid but cannot continue your role, enjoy the break!

In short, leave with dignity. It’s the right thing to do, and has a positive impact on your future.

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