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How to Resign From Your Position Without Hurting Your Career

Posted by Debra Loggia on Jan 31, 2013 2:04:00 PM

career tips, job seekers, staffing servicesIn our society communicating via text message is becoming the norm, however, there is a time and place for this informal communication and resigning from a position is not one of them.

If you are leaving your job, for any reason, sending a text message to your boss is not going to do much if you ever want or need a reference. And believe me, you may not think you will ever need it, but you may, and for that reason as well as to establish professional credibility, resigning professionally is an important part of your career.

In today's job market, no one expects you to remain at a job forever. Better opportunities, childcare issues, relocation, whatever the reason, employers understand that people move on. So try to think ahead and remember that resigning professionally is a skill that will serve you well.

With that in mind, follow a few simple guidelines to make your departure a smooth one.

Give Appropriate Notice: Most employers require two weeks notice and in today's workforce where more work is being done by fewer people, three weeks may be asked.

Speak to your Supervisor in Person: Email makes uncomfortable conversations easy. This isn't one of them. You decided to leave, and even if you're relationship with your boss isn't the best, show them the courtesy of scheduling time and resign in person. 

This is Not the Time to Tell your Boss What You Really Think: Most medium and large sized organizations have HR departments that may schedule an exit interview. Unfortunately, too many organizations neglect this important step. If you do have an exit interview, and you want to get a few things off your chest, do it calmly and professionally. It's ok to bring up valid issues that may help them restaff the position more appropriately, but try to focus on the positive and leave it at that.

Ask for a Reference: If you are leaving on good terms, this is a great time to ask for a letter of recommendation. There are legal issues that prevent employers from revealing many details about a past employee so a good letter of recommendation can help you down the road.

The Details of Resigning: Too many people make assumptions about what a company will provide when they leave. If your company has an Employee Handbook, research what you need to do to ensure you get your vacation time; benefits are transferred properly; or apply for COBRA if you need it. If your company paid for training or classes, there may be a penalty if you leave too soon after completing the coursework. It's better to do this before you give notice so you can plan accordingly and perhaps negotiate and exit strategy that works in your favor.

Return All Company Property: If you have an ID badge, a laptop, mobile phone, turn them in promptly prior to leaving. You don't want to be responsible for any missing items after you've gone.

So you've resigned and you're on to the next step in your journey. Following those simple steps will mean you've made a smooth transition.

If you have any experiences you want to share about your employment experiences or have other suggestions to add, share them with us.

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Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.