On the job

Career Management: The Art of Resigning Elegantly

We’ve all been there. Here you are exasperated by a job, impatient with a demanding or incompetent employer, ready to turn your heels and unleash a spectacular explosion of pent-up frustration behind you. The problem: the explosion will cut across the lines, and bridges may be needed sooner than you think.

Even if you’re looking for new horizons, it’s best not to lose sight of the importance of maintaining a good relationship with your former employer. The key is to resign gracefully.

Give your opinion as soon as possible

If you are certain you will resign, as much as possible, do not complicate your employer’s life by giving only two weeks’ notice. It could take months to fill your position (assuming you can find someone as qualified as you are). So if you know you’re leaving soon, why wait to give notice?

Compose a letter

Many employers require a formal letter of resignation; you may see this not as a burden, but as a chance to express your reasons for leaving and to show your appreciation for the organization. As David Maxfield, vice-president of research at VitalSmarts and author of four best-selling VitalSmarts books, advises, “It’s a great way to show your appreciation for the organization. New York TimesIn the letter in question, do not emphasize the negative aspects, do not express your complaints, refrain from saying “I told you so”. Instead, explain the positive reasons for your departure”.

Take a deep breath

Before submitting the letter to your employer, assess your emotional state. Are you still in a rage because you haven’t been offered a promotion or because you’ve had scathing performance appraisal results shared with you? If so, now is not the time to open your mouth. Undervalued workers are likely to dream of running angrily into their employer’s office, but this is not a reasonable strategy. “The key is not to say you’re leaving when you’re in the throes of strong emotions,” says Janet Frood, leadership consultant, team coach and founder of Horizon Leadership. “It’s very important to stop and regain emotional balance to create the right conditions for effective communication. »

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Shine at the Exit Interview

It can be difficult to balance honesty and a positive attitude at the exit interview. Most experts stress the importance of offering constructive feedback, but it is not advisable to view the interview face-to-face with your employer as an opportunity to express your demands. “This generation values openness. But it’s better to discuss the circumstances leading up to your departure and not complain about your colleagues,” says Gilles Rochefort, President of PMC Coaching.

Show your appreciation

Even if you hate your job, it still offered you income and experience. As you think about it, focus on what you’ve learned, the good times and the positive aspects of your experience. Thank those who helped you along the way. “Consider how you made a difference in the lives of your clients, the friendships you made through the job, and what you enjoyed,” says Maxfield. “It’s best to be both honest and optimistic. »

Ensure a smooth transition

There is no one who can do your job like you, so document your responsibilities, best practices and workflow, and support the training, hosting or coaching of your successor.

Do not slacken your efforts

Unfortunately, your last days at work won’t be a vacation. On the contrary, your employer may want to take a closer look at your performance and note whether you have your foot on the gas or are coasting down the hill. “Even towards the end of your conversation with your employer, you’re still at work,” says Maxfield. “Make sure your work ends on a positive note. Make sure your work ends on a positive note,” he says. “Make sure you work hard until it’s time to leave. Remember that the last few moments are the ones you remember the most. It’s up to you to decide how you will behave during those last few days, and that choice reveals your character; be a role model of elegance. »

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Last goodbyes

Once you have assembled your personal belongings and finalized the small details (your last paycheque, your pension, the return of any items in your possession belonging to the organization), it is important to say goodbye to your colleagues without alienating yourself from them. “When dealing with colleagues, be positive and don’t brag,” says Maxfield. After all, your co-workers have to keep working in the place you’re leaving!

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