Leaving Your Employer on a Good Note

Leaving Your Employer on a Good Note

Many people leave one company and accept a job offer elsewhere because something about their current work environment is not to their satisfaction. You may for example decide to move on because you want a higher salary, or because you can’t get on with your colleagues, or you feel your desire for promotion or job enlargement cannot be achieved with your current employer, or you don’t like something about the company culture.

However, there are a number of reasons why it may not be prudent to inform your boss and other colleagues of all your reasons for having decided to leave.

Firstly, it is almost certain that your next employer will ask your current company for a reference. Then consider that you may end up working with some of your colleagues again in the future at another company – some business sectors are notably incestuous, especially where there are a number of large companies within a small area. Finally, it is not unheard of for someone who has resigned to return to the same company later in their career.

Remember that you are under no obligation to divulge your reasons for resigning. Your letter of resignation can be a short document that simply states the position you are resigning from, and which confirms your intention to leave. It is also good practice to thank your company in the letter, even if this doesn’t reflect your current mood. Also, don’t just leave the letter on the desk of your boss or an HR representative – ask for a one-to-one meeting and inform them verbally of your intentions before you hand over the letter.

If your company formally presents you with a leaving present in front of the entire office, then it’s very difficult to say nothing at times like this! However, if you don’t feel like saying anything else it should suffice to thank them for buying your leaving gift and to wish them all the best for the future. If the company doesn’t conduct a formal presentation of this nature, then you could send an email to your colleagues a few minutes before you leave for the final time, again wishing them the best for the future.

Ensure you continue to act professionally right up to the end of your time with the company. If you are working your notice, the company can’t realistically expect you to work long hours and go the extra mile in other respects, but make sure you continue to carry out the role to the best of your ability. Unless your company has specifically said it is willing to shorten or waive your notice period, then make sure you work your full notice period. ‘Walking out’ will be a breach of contract and may lead to your employer refusing to provide a reference. They can even take legal action in these circumstances.

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