How To Resign From A Job
Baby I'm a boss, I don't know what they do
I don't get dropped, I drop the label
-jay-z: on to the next one
Leave a company without damaging your relationships.
First Notify your manager. When you’ve decided to leave a company and are ready to make your exit, let your manager know. Its best to have this conversation in person, and be armed with a few reasons of why you believe this is the best decision for you to make. Two commonly accepted reasons are that the new opportunity is too exciting to turn down or some persistent challenge you were facing in your current role/company prompted you to look elsewhere.
A manager who has enjoyed working with you and finds your work to be valuable may probe to see if you would be open to a counter offer, or may outright offer more money as an incentive for you to stay. If you are confident that leaving is the best decision, hold firm. Here’s a few ways to navigate the conversation:
You: Hi Manager, thanks so much for making time for us to meet today. I wanted to speak with you and let you know that I’ve decided to leave the company for another opportunity.
Manager: (astonished, disappointed, sad etc)
You: I believe it’s the best decision for me. I’ve really enjoyed working here and learning from you. However, as you know, I’ve felt challenged by the lack of growth opportunities here, and have decided to move on to another company/role that will provide more of the environment I’m looking for.
After notifying your manager in person, send an official resignation letter via email, with your last day being 10 business days from the day you’ve resigned. Here’s the ingredients of a resignation letter:
[the date you notify your manager you are resigning]
Please accept this letter as official notice that I am resigning from my [role] at [company]. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you the past [# years/months]. My last day with [company] will be [date]. If there’s anything you need from me to make this a smoother transition, please let me know.
Second: Schedule one-on-one’s with other senior leaders. Your manager is likely to notify HR, and any other senior leaders in the company. If you have relationships with these leaders, schedule 1:1s with them to talk directly. This is at your discretion.
Third: Capture your relationships. Whether its peers and co-workers you’ve admired or enjoyed, or clients who have been endorsers of your work, thank them for the opportunity to work with them. Add them to your linkedin network and swap email addresses. Ask for endorsements on linkedin if you think they’ll leave a stellar one.
People are likely to ask where you’re going next. This is a natural question for someone to ask out of curiosity. If you believe your next role is secure and the people asking aren’t being malicious, you may feel it’s okay to tell them. You can also say something thats less specific like, “I’m moving into a management role at a much smaller company.” Again, this is at your discretion. If you feel less secure about your next step, “I’m taking some time to travel/explore what’s next” can be a good response.
Finally: Take a break. If you can take days off between work, do so. However, even if you only have a weekend between jobs, engineer some downtime to play, unwind and recharge. For many people, there’s only small slices of life where we’re not working or conscious of work. Enjoy this space. Journal, go on a hike, hit a museum, visit friends or family or simply catch up on sleep. Hopefully, you can start your next job well rested, well connected and excited for what's to come.