The do's and dont's of handing in your notice

It’s at this time of year that many will start thinking of their goals and ambitions for next year. For some, this will include climbing the career ladder and potentially starting a new role in a new company. Whether you’ve grown to dislike your current job, or you’ve simply received a job offer you can’t refuse, most will feel apprehensive at the prospect of having to inform a current employer that you are leaving. Here are our top tips to ensure handing in your notice is as worry-free as possible.

1. Re-read your contract

Your contract or staff handbook should give you the information you need to hand in your notice. It will also allow you to check your notice period and any other information relating to pay and benefits that you might need to know before you leave.

2. Check through your desk and files on your computer

Although you’ll probably be asked to work your notice, it's a good idea to check through your desk and computer files to make sure you delete or take with you anything personal that you might have stored such as photographs or personal account passwords. It’s also important that you observe contractual clauses regarding Confidentiality and Post-termination restrictions.

3. Compose your letter of resignation.

Once you have your job offer confirmed, you’ll need to write your letter of resignation. A formal letter of resignation should be typed, printed and hand-delivered to your employer rather than emailed. Try not to go into too much detail, especially on the reasons why you are leaving. Regardless of your feelings towards your employer, it’s much better to keep the letter light and positive. After all, you’ll want them to give you a glowing reference so it’s best not to burn your bridges. Thank them for the opportunities they’ve given you and suggest a suitable notice period. This is usually dictated by your contract or the length of time you’ve been employed.

4. Prepare what to say.

Before asking to speak to your Manager, prepare for all possible outcomes and what you will say. How will you answer questions about why you are leaving? It’s also worth considering the possibility that they may entice you to stay with a counter offer. Although this might sound tempting, try to remember the reasons why you wanted to leave in the first place to remind yourself why you accepted another job.

5. Stay positive.

Much like your resignation, avoid any temptation you might have to be negative when talking to your colleagues about your exit. There is no point in being angry or negative about your current role – just focus on the positives and your career moving forward.

6. Leave a good lasting impression.

Now that you’re leaving, it's important to remember that you are likely leaving behind extra workload with your colleagues. Your manager will also have to find the time to recruit your replacement and plan their training. Ensure you are missed and not resented when you leave by compiling handover notes, helping on extra work or informing external companies of your departure before you go, if this is company policy

Remember to also say goodbye to your colleagues. Take the time to give a personal goodbye and thank you to colleagues that you’ve worked closely with – including your Manager. You never know when your paths may cross again during your career!