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HOW TO WRITE A RESIGNATION LETTER EFFECTIVELY

By Jennica Bellani

Transitioning to a new job and organisation is often both stressful and exciting at the same time. You are either looking forward to an improved career path or are apprehensive about how to inform your former employer of your plans.. If you  share a bond with your manager, it might  trouble you to disappoint them. Writing a resignation letter can feel like an intimidating process, especially during the pandemic, when teams are already disconcerted and wary of change.

It is as pivotal to leave a pleasant memory of your final day with  your employer as it was to impart a favourable first impression. This means that, even if you dislike your current job due to monetary reasons, internal politics or your hiring manager, ensure that your resignation letter does not catalogue a blunt  list of criticisms. Exiting an organisation without acrimony or rancour is pivotal to your overall career path. Though the resignation letter will certainly conclude your present relations with your current organisation, your goodwill in the professional world will be around for a much longer time to come. Moreover, it is most than likely that your current manager will be a possible point of reference, either deliberately or inadvertently, for prospective employers in the future. Hence it is advisable to terminate your employment on a supportive and amiable note.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR RESIGNATION LETTER :

Given the current pandemic, there may be several reasons why you are thinking of resigning. Whether it’s a cultural and ethics mismatch, poor organisational performance,an inadequate response to the pandemic or a poor supervising manager – your resignation should not cite negative reasons. The sole purpose is only to inform your employer of the date you wish to terminate your employment. Hence;

  1. Avoid stating negative reasons for your resignation – Refrain from implying the negative reasons towards an employer, colleague, manager colleague or work itself. Engage in a constructive dialogue with your manager during your exit meeting. Avoid burning the bridges and voice your opinions positively.
  2. Be clear with respect to your last working day – Be certain and precise with your employer on the last working day so that you can structure and plan for the handover period and beyond. Avoid taking leaves during the notice period unless absolutely necessary. This will ensure that there are no last minute disputes and debated extensions of your last working day. 

POST TENDERING THE LETTER :

Once you have accepted the new offer and your resignation letter is ready, the next step would be to plan on how to deliver this to your manager and make your exit official – whether it is over a zoom call, email (if working remotely) or a face-to-face meeting. Follow the below-mentioned pointers to ensure a smooth transition.

  1. Arrange for a face-to-face meeting or conversation with your manager (whenever possible) – Just a resignation email can come across as dismissive. Ensure you arrange either a face-to-face or a zoom meeting at a convenient time for both you and your manager. Be prepared with the context and have a professional demeanor. 
  1. Thank your employer – Express gratitude and thank your employer for the opportunity and time they have given you with respect to learning opportunities, projects, milestones and experiences. Outline that you are happy to coach an employee for your role or help your employer in any other way during the handover period. A touch of sentiment, phrased effectively, can go a long way while costing nothing. 
  1. Contemplate whether you want to divulge to your manager about where you are going – Assess the equation which you currently have with your manager and if you would be comfortable to reveal the name of the organisation you are moving to or what your plan is going ahead. Contemplate on this factor prior to the meeting or conversation so that you are prepared in case the question does arise. Remember, it is not necessary for you to disclose your next steps and it is perfectly within your rights to keep this confidential.
  1. Counter-Offer – Your decision to leave the organization may astonish the management which may lead to them making a counter-offer in an attempt to retain you. If you do happen to receive a promotion or hike, remind yourself why you wished to leave in the first place and what attracted you to the new role. Question whether  accepting the counter-offer is likely to change the circumstances or empower the very reasons that drove you to look for a new job? 
  1. Follow Up – Assuming you do not accept the counter-offer, the concluding period with your current organisation should be one of seamless transition. It is crucial to maintain professionalism and ensure your colleagues or the new replacement is well-equipped to manage the handover task before  your departure from the team. Once your decision to exit is final, send a concise email reiterating and confirming your conversation.
  1. Disclosing the news to the team – Evaluate how you would want to break the news to your team members and have a discussion with your manager on how and when to disclose the information. 

CONCLUSION:

At some point in their lives, most people, including your manager will be in a similar situation as you. Whether you are leaving for personal reasons or are embarking on a new self-embarked venture, writing a resignation letter must be approached properly. In addition, to what is stated above, we recommend that you –

  1. Keep it precise – Lengthy explanations should be avoided. Stick to the facts; be clear and concise and include relevant information only. 
  2. Consider your contract –  You may reiterate the terms and conditions of your contract. This reflects that you have read and considered the implications and your decision is well thought out. 
  3. Maintain Professionalism –  Even if you share a friendly relation with your manager, a resignation should be dealt and addressed formally at all costs. 

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