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The Best Things to Do After You’ve Handed in Your Resignation


It is likely the average American will work between eight and 10 jobs throughout their lifetime.

While changing jobs can be for the better – a more demanding profession, greater promotion, or better pay – the reality remains that starting a new job can be one of life’s most stressful experiences.

It’s probably not quite up there with getting married, moving house, or having your first child – but it is definitely nerve-wracking and stress-inducing.

There are many reasons for resigning.

You might want better pay, or move to a new area, or just hate your job.

In the first place, be certain that you are making a move for the appropriate reasons, which will result in a step forward in your career.

If you are changing for a negative cause, be sure you will leave the negativity behind.

The issue with any resignation is that in most cases you’ll have to serve a notice period.

This presents various issues for an employee.

There will be a lot of tying up loose ends and making sure your team has all the information and contacts they need.

When you have no doubt in your mind a change is the right thing to do, you should have a think about the next month or so.

The best scenario is that you know you’ve got another job to go to before you resign.

It’s also a good idea to have a read of the staff manual or your contract for any benefits you might be entitled to, like unpaid vacation time, savings program withdrawal/transfer/roll-over, and insurance.

Give at least two weeks notice, and don’t be surprised if your employer insists on four, depending on your profession.

Set up a meeting to hand in your resignation

Set up a meeting with your supervisor to offer your resignation in person.

Explain why you’re leaving in good terms.

You may feel like it at the time, but avoid the urge to criticize your boss, co-workers, or working conditions.

Hand over a proper resignation letter, giving your leave dates and an offer to support your replacement.

Don’t forget you may well need to get a reference letter from your boss so it’s well worth keeping them onside.

You should also expect to have some conversations with your colleagues about why you’re leaving.

Again, criticizing them, their work or the company is not a professional way to behave. Let your clients know

The other people you must tell are your contacts and clients.

One reason is that it’s courteous and professional to introduce them to your replacement so they have plenty of time to get to know them and change their records etc.

Secondly, it might well be beneficial to you to keep in touch with some of these people in your future role.

Think about keeping in touch through LinkedIn or Facebook.

READ MORE: How to Write a Resignation Letter

READ MORE: Moving from one job to another 

Prepare for a negative reaction to your resignation

It could be that your boss doesn’t take your resignation well.

If you’re good at what you do, they will be disappointed to lose you.

It could also be the case in some circumstances your company might not want you to serve a notice period and ask you to leave straight away.

“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.” — Dr. Seuss

Tie up loose ends

You do not want to have your former employer phoning you to ask what the password for something is once you’ve started your new job.

To avoid this, you need to make sure you carry out a thorough handover.

Offering to train your replacement will go down well, but however thorough your exit might be, it might be you have to bite the bullet and take a few calls once you’ve gone.

Clear your equipment

If you’ve been given a PC, tablet or laptop by your company, you need to clear your personal footprint.

All your personal information needs to be removed but all your work should be kept.

This includes logins to emails and financial accounts.

Also, make sure you hand back physical items like keys, laptops, mobile phone and anything else that might be owned by the company.

You may also have knowledge of confidential material.

Bear in mind there are severe penalties if you were to take this into your new workplace.

Departure interviews after your resignation

Many companies now have departure interviews, where they can get feedback from you before you go.

It’s good to stay professional in these conversations.

Even if you are bristling with resentment over time in the role, any criticism should be constructive.

It’s also a good idea not to bad-mouth the company at your leaving do.

In fact, saying thank you to everyone who has helped you at the company, and send individuals to everyone you’ve become friends with or worked very closely with to say goodbye.

Try to recharge your batteries

Changing jobs can be a draining experience .

Ideally, in between changing jobs, you want a bit of time off to recharge and have a think about the task ahead.

It would be best for all involved to have at least two weeks between one job ending and the other starting.

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