Resigning Professionally Part 2: Ending on a Good Note

In the first part of this article, I discussed how to tell your boss you are resigning and what to do if you receive a counter offer. That article can be found ​here​.

Now that the hard part is over, here are some suggestions on maximizing your last few weeks in the office.

Taking Care of Business

The final weeks in your job are crucial as your performance during this time will leave an impression on your colleagues and senior management. While you might want to spend your days checking out your new colleagues on Linked-In, it is important to work hard and stay motivated.

Lynn Taylor​[1], workplace expert specialising in boss and employee dynamics advises, “Stay enthusiastic and focused. Remain on good terms with everyone in the company and stay upbeat.”

During this process, make sure that you plan an effective handover which could include documenting processes, training new staff, writing manuals and attending meetings to provide final updates on projects and outstanding tasks.

It is also important to continue looking and dressing professionally as that is how people will remember you after you leave.

Meeting with Human Resources

The HR team will probably schedule an exit interview to better understand your reasons for leaving and flag any issues that might require attention to create a better employee experience moving forward.

For this meeting, Taylor[1] suggests, “When HR asks you for feedback, explain why you’re leaving in an upbeat, forward-thinking way.” It is important to be honest about improvements that can be made without appearing bitter or negative about your experience.

While it can be tempting, you should never speak negatively about your current employer. You are beginning a new professional relationship and if they hear you speaking negatively, they might question the damage you could do to their reputation in the future.

During this meeting, it is also important to confirm all outstanding issues regarding the payment of superannuation and annual leave entitlements. Employees often have annual leave accrued so make sure that you are compensated for that.

Saying Goodbye

Now that the hard work is over, it is important to depart on a positive note.

This can be achieved by sending personalised thank-you notes to anyone who has gone above and beyond to help you during your time at this company. It is also a good idea to send a general message to your team or division with news of your departure and provide a way of staying in touch. Adding people on Linked-in (if you are not already connected), is another professional way of connecting and opens the door for future contact whether it be social or professional opportunities.

You can also leave a positive impression by thanking people in person, and even reaching out to senior leadership for advice or mentoring before you go.

If there is a goodbye dinner or drinks, professional behaviour is important and do not get (too) drunk. While it is tempting to celebrate leaving a work environment that is less than perfect, staying professional is important until the last shift is over.

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