Thinking about handing in your notice at work? The Christmas holidays are traditionally the most popular time for people to reassess their life and consider a career change. If you are thinking about leaving your job, you need to make sure you do it professionally – it’s not your opportunity to tell your boss what you really think of him!
Are you making the right decision?
Firstly, is this definitely what you want? We’ve all had bad days at work or run-ins with a difficult colleague but you can’t use that as an excuse to hand your notice in. Make sure you are committed to leaving and have thought it through properly before taking any action. The main factors for moving should be career and personal development, money or location. Speak to your family and friends and ask their advice – they are the ones who know you the best.
The resignation letter
Prepare a professional letter of resignation ready to hand in personally to your boss. Keep the letter short and simple – don’t use it to give reasons why you are leaving or to tell them what you really think of them. Remember that letter could come back to haunt you! You might want to include how you have enjoyed working with them or how thankful you are for the opportunities they gave you. Always keep it positive – remember you are going to need a good reference from them!
The big day
Work out exactly what you’re going to say when you hand over your resignation letter and make sure it’s professional and positive. Be prepared for questions. They may ask you why you are leaving, where you are going or ask you to stay. Prepare your answers beforehand so you know exactly what you are going to say. Remember you don’t have to give away any information if you don’t feel comfortable, and don’t make any decisions on the spot which you might regret later – you can ask for some time to think about what they have said.
Leave on the right note
Make sure you complete your notice period (unless agreed otherwise) and finish off any outstanding tasks before you leave. You could prepare some notes for your colleagues to ensure a smooth handover of your work and responsibilities. Be as helpful and co-operative as possible throughout the whole process so that you are not leaving under any negative feelings. Swap contact details with the colleagues who you want to stay in touch with – you never know when they might be useful to your personal and career development in the future.
And finally, do not steal any data! Remember it is not your client base and you could end up in a whole load of trouble for it. This is a big NO NO.