Updated: Mar 6, 2020
Welcome to the second post of my HR blog series! I wanted to get more specific in this blog to talk about something many of us have done, or will most likely have to do at some point in our professional careers: Resign. Resignations can be seen as an adverse situation or conflict, and for many non-confrontational people like myself, can make one feel uneasy. Resigning from a job can be a good thing, depending on your reason for leaving. Usually, it means you've found a better opportunity elsewhere, and in some cases there isn't an opportunity lined up, you've just decided to leave an environment that is no longer benefitting you. Either way, there is a lot to be positive about.
The tough thing about resigning is that there is usually a sense of guilt around it, even in some circumstances where your manager wasn't your favorite, and your pay wasn't adequate. But many jobs like to guilt employees into staying to accommodate THEIR needs. 9 times out of 10, that company or organization does not care anything about your personal well being. Always keep in mind, if you leave, there will ALWAYS be someone willing and lined up to replace you. Of course it's cheaper for companies to retain employees and avoid turnover, but trust me, they'll live. Resignation letters are the most professional way to separate from a company, usually addressed to your manager and/or your HR department. Resignation letters should include the following:
~ Your full name and contact information
~ Your current position title and company you are working for
~ The last day you will be working
Now, some will argue that you should include gratitude. I agree, however, if you were completely unsatisfied and unhappy at your job keep it as simple as "Thank you for this opportunity". When handing off this letter to your direct manager, you can just give them a heads up that your resignation letter is included. This is usually when they will react with surprise, confusion, anger, or even happiness for you. The best way to handle passing over a resignation letter to a manager you were not fond of, is to keep the conversation short and sweet. You aren't obligated to tell them where you are headed, but instead of what we're thinking in our heads: NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, you can word it as "I'm still weighing my options, so I'd rather not share at the moment." Of course, if you had a great manager who is sad to see you go but genuinely happy for you, then feel free to share with them and keep that network alive.
Two weeks notice is usually the "minimum" when resigning from a job. But again, many situations do not leave room for another two weeks of work. Circumstances may vary, and that's OK. You can give the amount of time you can mentally withstand. Now I will say, when giving short notice there is no guarantee that this employer will give you a positive reference moving forward, but that is something that you can decide is important to you or not. But don't feel bullied into fulfilling a two week minimum notice if that's not the best option for your specific situation.
Here is a quick sample of what a resignation letter might look like:
123 First Street
Nowhere, NY 12345
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am writing this letter as a formal resignation from my position as Office Clerk at 123 Second Street Enterprises. My resignation is effective as of February 28th, 2020. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to fulfill this role and I will be willing to assist in training a replacement Office Clerk prior to my separation.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 123-456-7890
I hope this post is of some help to someone ready to move on to their next venture. I wish you all the luck in your endeavors. Please feel free to contact me with other topics for my HR series!