A Graceful Exit

Although effective this is not an appropriate letter of resignation.

I’ve talked about making a good first impression and keeping a positive attitude at the work place. Now it’s time to address that occasion when you may need to bow out, eg. quit.

This is a bridge everyone crosses eventually it has a different impact on your life depending on at what age you’re making this choice and what type of job it was. One thing always remains the same – if you’re going to do this you need to be as courteous as possible. I know you want out right now, but that doesn’t allow you to just cut and run without proper explanation and notice. Since this is Being Oppen, I’m going to focus on how this effects a recent graduate. What you really need to keep in mind if you are quitting your first full time job is that this will say a lot on your resume. If you leave on bad terms with your employer you’re digging yourself an even bigger whole. It’s really easy to make and break a reputation when you’re brand new to the business world.

I recently heard a story of someone doing this at a bigger organization. The person quitting sent an email at 10:00pm on a Sunday night and didn’t come in or answer phone calls from her employer the next morning. Although it could be argued that their letter of resignation was well written and did supply suitable reasons as to why they were quitting. The fact that they didn’t give two weeks notice was just poor form. What makes this even worse is this person had a recommendation in process from their boss for law school. Needless to say that was lost and their previously positive image at the organization was tarnished.

Now there are several issues that arise which anyone should address when leaving a position.

  1. Draft a professional letter of resignation, which states that this is your two weeks notice.
    Make sure this letter is dated and state the last day of your two weeks as well.
    Give well thought out reasons as to why you’re quitting without complaining or putting blame on others, this was your choice.
  2. During that two weeks you’re going to be busier:
    You’ll be compiling lists of projects that will need to be completed by others after you’ve gone.
    You’ll want to create a literal instruction manual for the person they will hire to take your place and for current employee’s who will be picking up the slack in the interim.
  3. Make sure you’re as kind and courteous as you can be during your last two weeks. You don’t want to lose credibility especially when they more than likely will be contacted when you apply for a new position elsewhere.

There are always exceptions to this list, maybe you’re just working at a restaurant so it’s not like you have on going projects to pass on to other employee’s. The main point here is just to be productive and grateful for the experience you’ve gained working at that particular business.

Remember this is one of those situations where every little detail matters. A good or bad resignation could make or break  the next step in your career.


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