You have found a great new job and decided to take the next step in your career. You are excited and also find yourself very anxious.
The time has come to resign and, although this is one of the most stressful situations that you may face in your professional life, you should not let your emotions run wild. You have already made the decisions, so now you need to keep a cool head, be professional and prepared.
So what should you do in order to resign properly?
1. Make sure you meet the terms
Check your employment contract, so that you are fully aware of your notice and termination conditions. It is imperative that you know this, so that you can inform your company exactly when you plan to have your last day. In case you would like to negotiate an early release, it is also important to know what (if any) conditions there are for this.
2. Do not resign by email
Make an appointment to meet with your manager and resign in person. Be concise with your resignation and do not make it personal. It is a professional decision, and it is best to keep your resignation meeting this way, even if you are very tempted to make it personal.
3. Prepare a resignation letter
Have your resignation letter ready for the meeting. It should be brief and contain several crucial points, including the date of resignation, intended last day at work, as well as an offer to help in the handover of your duties.
4. Be productive till the last day at work
Once your resignation has been accepted, make sure that you continue to come into work on time and be productive. Although you may feel like it doesn’t matter anymore, do not burn bridges. Chances are you will need references at some point or might face your current co-workers in a professional capacity in the future. It is best to leave on good terms.
5. Do a handover and do it well
You will be judged not only until the moment you leave the building, but also by what you leave behind.
6. Do not encourage others to follow you
Do not—by any means—try to publicly encourage co-workers to come with you. This will be disruptive, highly unwelcome by your employer and is guaranteed to cause trouble.
Crucially, whatever you do, keep it professional. You may be taking the decision for personal reasons, but bringing emotions to the table will neither make the process any easier, nor will it help you achieve anything.
Keep cool and keep looking forward to the excitement of a new chapter in your career.