Leaving Your D.C. Marketing and Communications Job? Resigning with Grace is Key
One giant task looms before you can start your new job: You have to give notice at your current one. How do you gracefully resign from a job?
It’s one of the stickier aspects of transitioning to a new role, but it doesn’t have to induce panic. Here are some suggestions for making that transition easier on all parties involved (and keeping your relationships intact).
Tell Your Superiors First
As soon as you have an offer in hand that you plan to accept, schedule a meeting with your manager(s).
Do not pass go or tell a dozen colleagues along the way. It’s tempting to confide in your workplace friends about your job search – and sometimes it’s necessary to discretely ask a current co-worker to provide a reference for your new role in advance – but whenever possible, you should keep the news to yourself until you have an opportunity to tell your supervisors.
Do them the courtesy of telling them in person – a phone call or email is not adequate.
Give Them Time
Provide as much notice as possible, and be as flexible as possible in determining your end date. You have to accept the possibility that they may ask you to leave immediately or they may ask you to stay another month. Be prepared to address either response in a calm and fair manner. Know your parameters regarding your end date in advance so you can be firm when needed, but compliant when possible.
Be Involved in the Transition
Before offering your resignation, consider how you can transition your current projects to someone else. Make a list of everything that you will need to wrap up, focusing on projects that you spearhead or are responsible for. Think about training materials or sessions you can prepare to help make the turnover smooth.
Avoid “checking out” mentally during your last weeks on the job. It’s easy to have the attitude that it’s not your problem, but showing that you care about helping the organization succeed in your absence goes a long way in creating a harmonious transition and goodwill. (After all, you never know when you will encounter these co-workers again in the future; let their last memories of you be positive ones.)
Take the High Road
Whatever your reasons for leaving, keep all of your interactions positive in your last days. Keep your story consistent, and avoid criticizing the company, managers or your colleagues on your way out the door. We’ve all been in work situations that weren’t ideal, but even then, it’s important to remain above the fray.
Don’t give in to petty mudslinging. Taking the high road is always a good decision, and it can help you leave a poor work situation with your head held high.
Keep in Touch
On your last day, make a point to individually thank your managers, colleagues and direct reports. Be sure to share your personal or new work contact information so you can stay in touch—and do stay in touch. You never know when you will want, or need, to work with these folks again in the future.
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