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Got A New Job? Here’s The Right Way To Resign Your Current Gig [VIDEO]

Estimated reading time ~ 4 min

If you are consistently unhappy in your current job, you feel that you’ve reached your personal glass ceiling, or it’s just time to do something new, it’s time to move on. Still, there’s one thing to do: Resign from your current gig.


Whether you’re quitting to go into business for yourself or to take a new role within a different organization, there is a skill to resigning properly. Here’s how to do it with grace and leave on good terms.

1. Keep your job search as discreet as possible.

You may have phone screens, multiple rounds of interviews, and even presentations to prepare for the potential new job all while you’re still working at your current job. In order to make this process as smooth as possible, try not to abuse all of those sick days that you’ve been hoarding. Schedule interviews in the very beginning of the day or towards the end of the day so you only have to call out of work for half a day. Also, when possible, clear your own schedule so another team member doesn’t have to rush to cover or reschedule your meetings when you call out sick.

2. Begin creating a transition plan for your current role.

It’s not uncommon for employees to really start to relax after they give notice. We get it. You’ve got a few weeks left so why bother? But if you don’t want to leave your employer with a bunch of loose ends and unfinished projects, start creating your transition plan to make the process easier. The plan should include the following:

  • A breakdown of all current projects
  • Status updates on anything that was in the planning stages
  • Key contacts used for collaborations inside and outside the organization
  • Status updates for any employee that reports directly to you
  • General best practices or tips for the new person who will fill your role

I know you might think that this is a bit much, especially if your predecessor didn’t even leave an extra pen in your office, but your supervisor will be grateful.

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3. Give (at least) two weeks notice after you receive the formal offer letter.

Repeat after me: “I solemnly promise to not resign from my current job until I have a formal offer letter from human resources.” You don’t have the job until it’s in writing that you have the job. Period. They can call you and introduce you to the team and then call you back saying, “Ooops – plans changed,” or “Something came up in your background check.” If you don’t have an offer letter, you don’t officially have a new job. Giving two weeks notice is the standard in most industries. Even if your new employer pushes to have you start earlier, try to negotiate a timeline that won’t leave your current employer at a disadvantage.

4. Tell your supervisor first.

Even if you don’t have the best relationship with your direct supervisor, you still need to inform them that you are moving on before you spread the news to the office. It’s not a good feeling to find out that one of your employees is leaving from overhearing them tell another colleague or someone sending an email to ask a question regarding the transition. Tell your direct supervisor, then your immediate colleagues, then the rest of the world.

5. Don’t take vacation or sick time after giving notice.

Every employer has their own rules about this, so check with human resources before taking a vacation or sick day after you resign. In almost every case, it’s significantly frowned upon unless you already had something on the calendar that is non-negotiable. Some employers will even refuse to pay out any accrued time if you opt to call out after you give notice. The bottom line is that you’ve got two measly weeks left. Try to schedule your start date at the new job a little later so you can take a full week in-between to relax and unwind.

6. Have referrals ready for your current role.

If you are looking for extra credit to really keep yourself in good standing at your old job, having referrals ready to go for your old position is always a good idea. It’s a great opportunity to help someone out in your network, and assist your office in recruiting a new team member.

7. Be available for questions (within reason) after your end date.

Please note the “within reason” clause above. If you get a phone call a month after you leave asking where you left an important file, it would be nice if you responded within a reasonable timeframe. Now, if your old boss is asking to conference you into the weekly staff meetings or constantly emailing you to ask for information, a conversation needs to be had. You no longer are being employed by the company, and are most likely busy getting acclimated to the new job, so boundaries need to be set. It’s important to be available, but at the end of the day, it’s also important to start your next chapter on the right foot, so make sure that you are not being abused.

This post originally appeared on Manifest Yourself.

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