There’s nothing worse than trying to resign in order to start a new job the next week, and discovering you’re tied into a month leaving period. As soon as you even start to have thoughts of leaving your job, look over the contract you’ve signed and check exactly what you’ve committed to. The limitations imposed by this may well extend beyond leave period, preventing you working at competitors. Do not face your boss at a disadvantage when you could easily give yourself the upper hand through knowing the ins and outs of your contract.
Whilst it’s definitely better to sit down and discuss your resignation with your line manager in person, make sure that you have a confirmation in writing at the ready. Not only will this outline your reasons to the company, it will be the required documentation for their records and will allow you to plan your tone ahead of the actual conversation. For example, if you love the job but things just aren’t working out, you can prepare an upbeat letter which is positive about the company and reassures them you are genuine in your sentiment.
If you’re about to go on holiday for two weeks, leaving your resignation to the last day before you go is not the best of ideas. Prepare for every eventuality; if your line manager isn’t in, what will you do? Know before you head to work who you’re happy to resign to (for example, the overall manager if your boss is away), or if you need to wait for a specific person. If your boss is very busy, ask them if you can schedule in a time or meeting to talk to them – this will demonstrate consideration and create a positive frame for the conversation.
A wishy-washy, half-hearted explanation of your reasons for leaving a job isn’t going to impress anybody. You don’t have to outline why the company didn’t cut it for you, or exactly where you’re heading on too, but if you do give an explanation make sure that your points are clear and concise. This will not only help the company, but help you frame your reasons for leaving within your own mind.
Whilst you need to clearly and dispassionately explain any issues that you’ve had in the job that have motivated your leaving, make sure you don’t overly criticise the company or your boss. Remember that you will most likely be asking them for references in the future, and maintain a respectful relationship until you leave (and after!).
Dependent on whether you’ve got another job lined up, are leaving because of other commitments such as children, or just want a break, consider whether things would work part time. Once you’ve quite a job there’s no going back, and if you’re a writer or designer you may be able to produce work on a freelance basis, which will provide a handy extra source of income.
Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available, as well as their graduate jobs Manchester page for further opportunities.
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