Monday, March 29, 2010

Zen and the Art of Quitting Your Job

When composing your letter of resignation, you are effectually terminating a contract so it is important to comply with all company policies and legal requirements related to your resignation.

Before you turn in your resignation do the following:

Clean up your computer. Delete personal files and email messages. Make sure you have the contact information for everyone you need to keep in touch with after you are gone.

Get the Details.
Be sure to get the details on the employee benefits and any salary to which you are entitled when you leave.

Ask for a Reference. Ask your boss and colleagues if they would be willing to give you a reference. If they agree, ask them to write you a LinkedIn recommendation as well as being available via email or phone.

Say Goodbye. Take the time to send a farewell message to co-workers and to let them know that you are moving on.

It is important to know that your letter of resignation will become part of your employee file therefore, it is best to keep the letter short and clear. Regardless of why you are resigning or how you feel about it, if you mention why you are leaving, make sure that you do not include anything negative or disparaging about the company, your supervisor, your co-workers, or your subordinates.

Here are a few tips to follow:
  1. Deliver letters of resignation either by snail mail or by hand
  2. Your letter can be either hand written or typed out
  3. The letter’s content should include your name and home address
  4. On the top left part of the page include the following:
  • Name of your immediate supervisor or the individual who is officially responsible for managing recruitment or resignations
  • Title of your immediate supervisor
  • Name of the organization
  • Address of the organization
  • Date the letter - You will then add your contractual notice period [usually 2 weeks] to this date
After the address contents, you will need to include the following:
  • Salutation - Dear [first name, surname]
  • In the body of the letter, state your leaving date i.e. add your contractual notice period [2 weeks?] to the date you have indicated on your resignation letter
  • Express thanks to your employer for the opportunities you have had during your employment [regardless of how you truly feel]
  • State that you are prepared to work until the end of your notice period
  • The closing i.e. Sincerely, Regards, etc.
  • Sign the document

As part of the resignation process, you will likely be invited to participate in a formal exit interview wherein your employer will want to delve into the ‘real’ reasons for your departure. During this process, it is important for you to remain polite, objective and stick to the facts. You do not want to jeopardize your future employment with negative comments in your employee file. You can also use this exist interview to return any company property that does not belong to you including keys, cell phone, PDA, etc. The company will not want to chase you to get it back, and you certainly do not want to be held responsible if it is not returned in a timely manner.