Part with Poise
You may want to tell your boss and coworkers where they can put your job, but refrain from doing so. Such scenes are fantasies that belong only in your mind but when acted upon can come back to bite you. The world is a small place, and news of your show-stopping departure can get around. Worse, in a few years, you may find yourself in position with some of those same colleagues. Make your transition out as calm and seamless as possible. Check your employee handbook for the company requirements, such as how much notice, to whom your resignation must be tendered and what to do with items left in your care: special equipment, work IDs, security passes, keys, etc. Go above and beyond by giving more notice than requested, offer to train your replacement or be available for calls after you’re gone. Leave detailed notes about the status and history of projects you’ve had.
Keep It Simple and Expect a Reaction
Just as you should avoid telling your boss off, you should also be careful about how many details you offer about why you’re leaving and where you’re going. You want to avoid allowing your emotions to get involved in an already stressful time. Don’t blame your boss’s bad attitude or lazy coworkers for your departure. Simply tell your boss that you’ve accepted an offer and when you’ll be leaving. Unless it’s your first job out of college, he’s bound to take it personally to a certain extent while at the same time knowing departures are a routine part of doing business. Resignations are still, after all, often seen as indictments of direct supervisors. Your job is to remain courteous and fully perform your duties until you exit.
Handle the Counter-Offer
Be resolute before accepting a new position and before handing in your resignation. You’ll need this resolve in case your current company extends a counter-offer to keep you. Every case is different, but there are plenty of reasons to never accept a counter-offer. In the first place, if you’re offered more money, you’d wonder why you weren’t worth that money before departing. It will also be clear that you were unhappy and willingly disloyal. You will likely be treated differently if you stay, and any time you take off a day or two, suspicions about your interviewing will rise. In addition, you will have burned a bridge with your waiting employer.
Show Appreciation and Say Farewell
Thank your boss and colleagues for the time you’ve spent with them, for past training, mentoring and other opportunities you’ve had. Send a goodbye email and make the rounds to say it in person with all of the people you’ve worked with in your time there. The point is to ensure you leave on a positive note and the last memory of you is a good one.
Resignation should be treated as a transition. Have your signed offer in hand and a firm starting date before tendering your resignation. Make sure all contingencies, such as reference and background checks are completed. You must also remember you are coming out of one work culture and moving to another. Strive to take off a couple weeks to relax and be refreshed before starting a new job. Take care of money issues, too. Transitioning from the pay schedule of one company to another can have you go longer between paychecks. Be sure to also review the status of your retirement accounts, insurance, vacation benefits and any other ongoing recurring expenses you may have with your organization, including phones, tablets, credit cards, etc. Also, compile your personal and professional contacts to take them with you. Disable your voicemail and place an appropriate out-of-office message on your email until it’s taken down.