How To Leave A Job On Good Terms

It’s never a fun task to hand in your resignation notice. Even if you utterly despise your workplace, it’s always a little uncomfortable when this topic of conversation gets brought up.

However, there are ways to resign without making things awkward.

If you are considering leaving your current workplace, read below to find out how you can leave your job on the best terms possible.

Let’s get into it.

Are You Sure You Want To Leave Your Job?

Before you even think about handing in your resignation notice, you really need to consider whether this is the best decision to be making.

You may be contemplating leaving your current employment for a variety of reasons. It’s possible that you’ve been offered a position with better wages and benefits elsewhere.

Even if you enjoy your current career, this is a totally legitimate option to make, as it will benefit you in the long run.

If you don’t have another job lined up right away, you’ll need to make sure you have enough savings and/or financial support to see you through until you do.

You need to be absolutely certain that this is the best option you can make! You may proceed with the rest of this article once you have given this decision enough thought, and have come up with a solid conclusion.

How Much Notice Should You Give Your Employer In Advance?

As a rule, it is customary to provide at least two weeks’ notice when departing a company, but it is not required. Some personal situations, or even issues within the workplace, may force you to depart prematurely.

If you need to take time off for personal and/or family reasons – e.g., caring for your child at home – you will need to put yourself and your family first, and take urgent action.

If you clearly explain the situation to your employer, it is likely that they will respect your motives. They may even request that you leave sooner than the two-week notice period for your own benefit.

However, there are occasions when we must leave a job because the environment is hostile. You may be experiencing mental health issues as a direct result of the actions of coworkers, an overburdening workload, or other factors.

In these cases, you may want to leave as soon as possible. Again, the best course of action is to inform your employer of these concerns, particularly if they are affecting your mental health.

If you can handle staying for the two-week period, you may as well push through those extra few shifts before leaving for good.

While it is not mandatory, it will leave you with a better reputation, especially if you would like your boss to write a letter of recommendation for you.

Whatever the situation, the best thing you can do is talk to your boss about your plans and options before making any final decisions.

What Is The Most Respectable Way To Announce Your Resignation?

employee handing resignation letter

There are numerous ways to announce your resignation, and it is critical that you select the most courteous approach that best reflects you.

Resigning Via Text Message: DON’T

It is advisable to avoid reporting your departure in this manner, if at all possible. Sending your resignation through a text message is problematic for so many reasons.

To begin with, it’s possible that your boss will not see your message. This could be due to a problem with your/their phone coverage, or because your employer receives so many texts on their work phone that they simply don’t notice the message. As a result, they will be unaware of your departure.

This will lead to them calling you at some time, inquiring as to why you haven’t shown up for your shift, which will lead to a fairly uncomfortable phone call. You could be to blame for your former employer’s staffing shortages, which will reflect poorly on you.

Additionally, resigning via text message can be seen as lazy and unprofessional. It may appear to be the easiest option since you can cleanly cut ties with your former colleagues without ever properly contacting them again, but this decision will almost definitely reflect poorly on you.

It is highly recommended that you avoid this option altogether.

Resigning Via Email: DON’T

While delivering your resignation via email is a little improvement over text, it is nevertheless a pretty inconvenient method of doing so.

You should avoid this method for similar reasons to the prior option: your boss may not see or receive the email, meaning that they will be unaware that you have resigned.

This will almost certainly create bad blood between you and your ex-employees, as you could, potentially, be leaving them short staffed.

This strategy can be regarded unprofessional once again. Furthermore, because you couldn’t bear informing your boss face-to-face, it could make you appear cowardly.

It’s understandable that you don’t want to speak with your boss one-on-one if you’re leaving since you don’t feel comfortable working with them, but trust us: sending an email (or a text) is not the way to go.

Resigning Via Telephone Call: AVOID IF NECESSARY

This alternative is heavily debated: although some argue that announcing a resignation over the phone is acceptable, others argue that it is just as disrespectful and lazy as doing so via text or email.

This method is, undoubtedly, more personal than the previous options. The best way to resign is to speak to your employer directly, and you will be doing so while contacting them over the phone. However, it is still a cop out, as you won’t be speaking to them directly.

Sometimes, however, we will be left with no choice but to do this. If we are in a position where we are not well enough to leave the house, this is probably the best option to resign while still personally speaking to your employer.

If you have to depart a job over the phone, you will need to do so in a professional and gracious manner. Make sure to completely explain your circumstances and thank your boss for the opportunity to work for him or her.

Resigning Via A Formal, Handwritten Letter: DO

This is the most frequently used method of resignation, and for good reason: it is the most professional way of doing so.

The best course of action is to compose the letter and physically deliver it to your boss. Some people may choose to mail the letter instead, however this eliminates the opportunity to speak with your boss face to face.

If you simply mail it to them without saying anything, it can come out as a little abrupt.

As a measure of respect, you should communicate directly with your boss before submitting a resignation letter anyway, whether that be in person or over the phone. Even a simple call may suffice.

Resigning In Person: DO

As we previously mentioned, the best thing you can do is notify your boss that you will be leaving your job in person.

Depending on your situation, it may be an awkward conversation. No matter what, he or she will definitely appreciate the fact that you have been open and upfront enough to tell them directly.

While you should also write a formally written letter, you should also contact your employer ahead of time so that they can recruit a replacement if necessary.

Prepare For Your Boss To Make You A Counter-Offer

Hopefully, you have chosen the latter option from the previous list: choosing to meet with your supervisor face-to-face to resign. This is, by far, the most respectable way to leave a job, especially if you don’t want to do so on bad terms.

You may be in a position where you get along well with your boss. If this is the case, and they truly respect you and regard you as a valuable asset to the firm, they may try to persuade you to stay by offering an increased pay, or other incentives.

This offer may cause you to second-guess your decision to leave the company.

If you have made the decision to leave your job because you’ve received a better offer — a job that pays significantly more than your present one – your boss’s sudden move may be enough to persuade you to stay.

After all, that may have been the whole reason that you wanted to leave in the first place.

If you’re leaving for other reasons, however, you’ll have to evaluate whether being offered a better deal in your current job is a sufficient incentive to stay. If you’re not enjoying the position you presently hold, money won’t fix these issues.

Continue To Work Hard Up Until Your Very Last Day

If you’ve decided to work the two-week notice period, you feel that there is no point putting too much effort into your tasks for the remaining shifts.

After all, what are they going to do if you’re not pulling your weight? Fire you?

However, this is not the best way to leave a job on good terms. In fact, you will be leaving behind a damaging reputation by doing so, ruining any chances of your ex-employer writing you a decent reference letter.

It is also worth thinking about the relationships you have with your co-workers. Even if you hate your boss, or don’t get along with certain employees, it is unlikely that you don’t get along with anyone at your workplace.

You may want to keep these friends after you leave the job. The best way to do this is to work as efficiently as possible, helping them out for your remaining couple of shifts.

Final Thoughts

There we have it! These are some ways that you can hand in your resignation while keeping the peace, and maintaining the friendships you have made in your current workplace. Stay calm, collected, and most importantly, respectful!

We wish you all the best with your future endeavors.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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