Our Experts | Karen Damm
Sooner or later it happens: you have been extended an offer for a new job opportunity that will advance your career professionally and/or financially, and you find yourself having to resign from your current job. As excited as you are about the future, it can also be nerve-wracking and scary to tell your current employer that you are leaving.
Typically, as soon as you turn in your resignation you have changed the dynamics of your working relationship: you have now become equals instead of employer and employee. Let’s face it, you are now perceived as a deserter, a traitor, you have gone against the family. Forget your career objectives and trying to better yourself, they will just wonder how you could do this to them.
Regardless of your feelings, you want to keep your professionalism intact and your relationship with your current employer as positive as possible.
You never know when your paths will cross again, and at the end of the day all we have is our integrity and how we conduct ourselves.
In today’s world, it may sound old school to write a resignation letter, but it is the right thing to do. Texting or emailing is not going to cut it. You need to craft a letter that is short and to the point. This is not a time to brag about your new position, or drone on about your feelings and why you are leaving, and what your employer could have done better. Keep it simple.
There are literally thousands of examples of resignation letters online that you can pull from, but you want to always, always make sure that you are giving your current employer plenty of notice (rule of thumb is a minimum of two weeks).
In addition to providing a final date, you may also want to let them know that you would be happy to assist with your job transition. This could be sharing what you are currently working on, helping to train your successor, suggesting who might be best to take over your current workload, and overall making it as easy for them as possible to carry on while they look for your replacement. In some situations, your current employer might even ask for your assistance in interviewing your replacement.
Once you hand them the letter and the word is out, you may find yourself being walked to the door. Just remember that offering to help can go a long way in how you are remembered and keep your reputation intact.