August 23, 2009

On The Job ... To resign or not to resign?!

Yesterday, I came across an interesting article on how to resign that appeared on's Lifestyle section.

I thought I'd discuss it because for some students, they will have to resign as they are returning to school in September. If that's the case, then you should resign and follow the written - and unwritten - rules, such as providing two weeks notice, unless your job contract says otherwise.

However, if you aren't resigning to return to school, but rather there is another reason, then I recommend asking yourself some tough questions about your current job. This is especially important given the economy and the scarcity of jobs in certain sectors.

If you've decided that it's time to resign and look elsewhere, then ensure that you:

1. Consider your options

Given the scarcity of jobs, is your reason for resigning something that can be fixed after a discussion with your boss? Or is there another non-work-related reason motivating your decision to resign?

2. Write a proper resignation letter

You should write a letter and it should be delivered in person. While this can be nerve-wracking, it will allow you and your employer to have a discussion about the reasons why you are leaving.

3. Remain professional

This is a no-brainer! Don't do or say anything that you could later regret. If anything, it's important to keep it professional so that you can use your former employer as a reference later on in your career.

In addition to these three tips, I also have my own personal tips on how to resign and keep your integrity - or as I've always said, how to exit stage left with style and grace!

First of all, on the last day, I always write a thank you card to my supervisor. Even if they've treated me horribly, I still thank them for the opportunity to gain new experiences and develop and hone my skills. If anything, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I did everything in my power to leave on good terms and with my head held high.

Secondly, I also ensure to get contact information from anybody that may be able to help me later on, either through a reference or a referral. For example, if my supervisor and I worked well, I make sure I get his or her e-mail address and phone number for future reference checks. I also get the contact information for some of my colleagues who can provide references for me if my supervisor could not or would not.

Despite all these tips, the most important thing is that throughout the entire resignation process, you need to act professional to maintain your integrity and professional image.

Trust me, it's much better to leave on good terms than to leave on bad ones.

After all, you can't cross a bridge once it has been burned.

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