So you are nearly there, you’ve gotten ready in every way… here comes the nerve wracking bit!
The right resignation preparation
4 key things to do prior to resigning to make sure you have no regrets:
- Empty your drawers/ desk gradually over a few weeks.
- Make sure you are ready to hand in all the things you were given for your role (blackberry with its charger, building pass, bloomberg b-unit, etc.). If you don’t have that, you may be asked to pay to replace them, you are leaving the company so they won’t pull any punches.
- Clear all your personal folders/ files of things you would not want others to see (personal emails and documents)
- Take all the stuff you might need into your next life/ role… often it is best to print those out but I have personally emailed these to myself with no issues in the past.
Get in the right frame of mind for resigning
If you’re having last minute doubts or need to get fired up and motivated to do the deed, write down the top 3 reasons why you are quitting and the top 3 things you want to do once you have left this office job. This will put you in the right frame of mind to take the next step. It is normal to have some doubts when you are about to turn fantasy into reality.
The Resignation Letter
The temptation is to write a glorious tell all resignation letter like Greg Smith did and telling people exactly what you think… that short term pleasure is not worth it. Don’t forget that things can be shared so quickly nowadays, is it still a good idea if your name and letter spreads over the internet for now and future years! Even if you don’t want to, you need to remain professional as:
- people talk and whatever you do/say when resigning will get out to more people than you realise,
- your reputation is the most valuable thing you own, keep it a good one,
- done correctly this is merely an administrative process and will be done soon enough
Here are 2 editable examples of resignation letters: the to the point letter and the letter to change your notice period. You do not legally have to give much information, so best to keep it short and sweet.
The right exit interview is how you will be remembered
Have you thought about a great speech? The kind you see in Hollywood movies, where the star addresses the whole office (Jerry Maguire perhaps?) and walks happily into the sunset?…
Nice thought, but professionalism means it’s best to keep it low key and strictly between your line manager and you. Here are 3 things to cover:
1- Tell them whether you are going to competition or not. As tempting as it is to lie to ensure you get gardening leave, if you are not going to competition, this will be discovered eventually.
I had to work 2 of my 3 months notice as I was not going to competition, this honesty and integrity was applauded even if it meant short term pain. Actually, in many ways this long good bye meant I got to do a lot less work and plan my future out properly.
2- Give them constructive feedback on why you are leaving, what you believe are some of the issues within the team and a couple of suggestions from what you know/ have heard from others.
If you play this in a humble fashion, trying to help them and not twist the knife in, they have to appreciate the information. If they don’t, you are leaving for some rather obvious reasons!
3- Thank them for the opportunity you have received and wish them all the best in future. You never know if you’ll ever encounter them, or people they know, in your future so don’t leave a sour taste.