When it comes to quitting your job there’s definitely a right way, and a wrong way, to go about it. Even if you vow to never step foot through those doors again, you’ll likely need your former employer on your good side – unless you’re planning on never working again!

So what’s the right way to resign from your current position?

Keep your intentions under wraps:

If you are leaving, your boss should be the first person to know – not the last. Don’t let office gossips get a whiff of what you’re doing, or they’ll beat you to the punch.

Don’t use work time for job searching:

This one goes without saying, but it’s a very bad look to be caught shopping around for other jobs while you’re on the clock! Remember that companies can monitor internet usage, and unless you work in recruitment yourself, spending a lot of time on job boards is going to raise a few eyebrows.

Give as much notice as possible:

Your contract will outline your minimum notice period. There may be some cases where the employer decides it’s not necessary for you to see out the full notice period – but don’t rely on that.
If you know well in advance that you’re leaving, be nice and give your boss the heads-up. The more time they have to prepare for your exit, the better it is for everyone!

Ask for people to be your referee:

Prospective employers prefer to do reference checks with current or recent managers. It’s a lot easier to ask for someone’s permission to put their name down as a referee when you’re still in the same building, rather than frantically trying to track them down later!

If possible, see if you can use their personal contact phone number rather than a work one, just in case your referee moves on themselves.

Be honest (and positive):

It’s good to be honest about your reasons for leaving. If there are aspects of the job or the organisation that needs to be improved, now’s the time to say so – making sure you present your opinions in a positive way.

Keep in mind that your reason for leaving is a common reference question, so you want to avoid the awkward situation of having your referee give a completely different answer to the one you gave!

Be grateful for the opportunity that you have had:

Regardless of how you feel towards your employer at the end, the reality is that they’ve been providing you with a financial reward for your time with them. No doubt you’ve picked up new skills and experiences, met new people and made important connections. The employer has also invested time and money in you. So even if it’s been the job from hell, be grateful that you had the opportunity in the first place. If nothing else, now you know what to avoid in future!

Don’t burn any bridges:

New Zealand’s a small place, and two degrees of separation is alive and well. You never know who you’re going to come across again in a different context down the track.

Sending out that mass email telling everyone exactly what you thought of them on your last day might have seemed like a good idea at the time … but word travels fast, and far, so don’t let your reputation precede you – unless it’s a good one of course!

A great way to approach any resignation is to “walk out the way you walked in”. Only good things can come from that.

We understand that resigning from your job can be an emotional, and often uncomfortable, process. If you ever need guidance on how to approach the situation, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Good luck,
Kirsty and Nikki