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Leaving Your Job - Be Professional

May 26, 2008
Leaving an employer, no matter how long you have been with a company, always causes some level of anxiety. However, you can work to alleviate any negative feelings if it is done the right way. You want to let the employer know that you will leave all projects completed and your professional affairs in order.

Also, consider how your new endeavor will impact your employment history. Will it help to enhance your professional career or will you making a lateral career move? These factors should be considered carefully before you make the decision to terminate your employment.

Remember - once you hand in your resignation it will probably be final.

Turning In Your Resignation

Once you decide to resign, you will need to put your intentions in writing. A professional letter addressed to your direct supervisor is the most effective way to do this. Your resignation letter will be added to your permanent employment record so keep that in mind when you write one.

After you resignation has been handed in, you work performance should remain the same. Don't be tempted to have a poor attendance record or produce inferior work.

Management will take note of any decrease in productivity and this could work against you in the future.

Be Prepared

You might be questioned by your employer as to why you are terminating your working relationship. Be prepared to answer this question. You must keep your professional goals in mind and not place blame on your employer.

When handing in your resignation, schedule a confidential appointment with your immediate supervisor to discuss the matter. Bring the letter with you to your meeting enclosed in a sealed envelope. It's a good idea to thank them for the opportunity to work with them and let them know that you have enjoyed the experience.

The idea here is to terminate the relationship on a positive note.

The Resignation Letter

Your resignation should be short and sweet. There is no need to write a two page synopsis of your employment history, nor is it relevant to go over facts and figures. Whatever complaints you may have had with the company, leave them out. Your letter should clearly state your last date of service.

How to Handle a Counteroffer

If your reasons for terminating the relationship are due to a finding a better opportunity elsewhere, you might be given a counteroffer. Now, in this situation, you will need to decide if you really want to leave or if you want to accept the new offer. Whatever decision you make, keep in mind that either decision will impact both employers.

Your decision to accept a counter offer may increase your financial reward, but it could also make your colleagues think that you are not a team player. Also, the employer that you had previously accepted an offer from will need to be told that you will not be working for them. These events could be detrimental to your career and thus future opportunities - so it is wise not to take them lightly.

Most employers these days conduct exit interviews prior to employees leaving the company. This gives all parties involved a chance to state their feelings about the relationship. It is also the time to conclude all business transactions such as relinquishing security codes, identification badges, and other items that you have in your possession.

Leaving on friendly terms leaves your professional network intact - because you will definitely need them in the future.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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