How to resign in a professional way

By Pam Magwaza
30 July 2017

'Always think before you leap.'

At some point, every working person is faced with the question of whether to stay in their current job or resign.

Leading online job portal Careers24 offers the following advice on some important things to keep in mind if you are thinking about resigning.

Think before you leap

Moving on to a position in a new company or a new venture is exciting, especially if there is the possibility of earning more money. However, it is very important to make sure you are leaving for the right reasons before you hand in your resignation letter.

Thoroughly think through your next move. There are some key questions you can ask yourself: Will I be financially stable? What makes this move worth the risk? Is there room for growth in the short and/or long term?

Once you have unpacked the scenario you may actually find you want to postpone your resignation, especially given the volatile economic situation and job market.

Read more: Stuck in a professional rut? Here are tips to help find your best future job

Give proper notice

This may sound like common sense advice, but a surprising number of employees overlook The Basic Conditions of Employment Act. The law requires every employee to give no less than four weeks’ notice to any place of employment where they have worked for a year or more. If you are a senior employee, the notice period may be even longer, so carefully check your contract to ensure that you give proper notice. Ignoring this advice could make you liable for damages for breaching your employment contract.

Write a professional resignation letter

The best way to resign is in writing. Send a formal letter to your boss and HR officer. State the exact date that you’re leaving in your resignation letter, thank them for your opportunity and wish the company well. Remember that being polite is more than just the right way; it is necessary because you’ll need a good reference soon. Also, remember to let your boss know first of your decision to resign.

Offer to help with the job transition

Offer to train your successor or the person who will fill in your position when you resign. Prepare manuals detailing operating procedures and your responsibilities. This will help your employer make the transition from you to your successor as smooth as possible. You will be remembered and appreciated for a long time, making it an especially valuable gesture if you’re serious about networking.

Leave on a positive note

The old saying, "don't burn your bridges" is still good advice for today especially in the working world. Keep in mind that your current employer might one day be a client, but even more likely is that you are going to use them as a reference in the future. Make a real effort to leave on good terms. Write a positive resignation letter, stating what you gained from this post. No matter how tempting it might be at times, don't bad-mouth your employer when you leave.

Source: Careers24 

Read more: How to make debt work for you

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