How to Resign Gracefully

1. Announce your resignation professionally

Be very professional and tactful in announcing your resignation and make sure you go through the proper channels of command resigning to your immediate boss first and then announcing your departure to your peers and colleagues. Do not let word of your intention to depart filter through the grapevine before you have announced your intentions to your boss.

2. Give sufficient notice

Consult your company’s policies and procedures for the proper notice period and make sure you give sufficient notice. If the company asks you to stay a little longer you are under no obligation to but if you have no other pressing priorities it may be a good idea to prolong your stay as a gesture of goodwill to ease the transition and complete any unfinished tasks.

3. Write a letter of resignation

Always follow your verbal resignation with a written resignation letter. Make this short, tactful, professional and to the point. Your resignation letter should be sued as an added opportunity to maintain a positive rapport with your old employer; it should not be sued as an opportunity to voice grievances or vent any bad feelings you have towards the company.

4. Ask for a reference letter

You don’t want to wait till you need a reference to ask for one as people you work with leave and in time you may lose track of them and the stellar work you did for them may be forgotten. Use your resignation time while you are still fresh in the company’s mind to ask for all the references you need so you have them in hand when you do need them.

5. Offer to help find a replacement

One gesture of good will is to offer to help find a replacement for yourself. This is usually very well-received as no one knows the intricacies of your job better than you do and you are likely to have more time to devote to the task than anyone else.

6. Do a proper hand-over

Make sure your work is well-documented, all outstanding tasks and projects are assigned to the relevant parties and you have done all you can to ease the transition. Make your handover documentation as informative, detailed and polished as possible so you look good to your successor, bosses and peers well after your departure.