How to Resign without Ruining Your Network

Goodbye - resignation

The time comes when even the best of jobs must come to an end.

With the excitement of a new role, it’s easy to forget that resigning means leaving a valuable network of colleagues you may work with again.

How you resign makes all the difference. To keep your network intact, consider these recruiter tips.

Resigning Tip#1: Be Clear and Avoid Confrontation

Honest and clear communication goes a long way- and so does plenty of notice.  Tell your current boss your plans to leave without getting too personal.  Explain that an opportunity came up for your career to go in a certain direction and you have decided to take it.  Be thankful for the time spent in your current role. Avoid any negative reasons for leaving—even if personality conflict or culture is part of the decision.

State the facts clearly and with confidence. “It’s important that you don’t feel guilty about moving on or feel like you need to over-explain,” says Caroline Kessler, The Muse. “In fact, my mantra for my “I quit” meeting was simple: It’s not personal; it’s business.”

Resigning Tip #2: Write an Effective Resignation Letter

Your resignation letter will become a part of your permanent file. It should clearly state that you intend to resign, the date your resignation is effective, and an offer to help with any transition.  “To maintain a positive and graceful exit, a letter of resignation will often thank the employer for the opportunities provided and mention experiences gained at the company or how the employee enjoyed their time there,” says Alison Doyle, The Balance Careers. This keeps the tone positive and professional.  Artemis Consultants recommends clients use a format like this sample resignation letter. If possible, present the resignation letter in person.

Resigning Tip #3: Expect a Counteroffer (but don’t accept it.)

If you are fortunate enough to receive a counteroffer from your current employer, see it as a compliment, but don’t accept it.  Most of the time, employees who accept counteroffers will wind up resigning again within the next 12 months because the underlying reasons for seeking a change remain. Considering a counteroffer may seem like a good idea at the time, but long-term, your boss or others may be upset that you considered leaving.  Roy Cohen, author of The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach says, “The first thing you have to do when weighing a counteroffer is ask yourself why you began looking for a new gig in the first place.” Being honest with yourself is a favor to everyone.

Although no hard statistics are available, many employees who give notice are receiving counteroffers from their current companies to encourage them to stay.

Resigning Tip #4: Express Thanks; Do not Brag about New Role

It is hard to contain your enthusiasm the last couple of weeks before starting a new role, but if your goal is to maintain a professional network with current coworkers, do not mention the higher pay or nicer set-up of a new position.  Keep comparisons in your own head because oversharing with present coworkers can cause dissatisfaction and jealousy.

Express sincere gratitude to any coworkers who have mentored you along the way. Mention specific ways they have helped and supported you over the years and ask to keep in touch.

Resigning Tip #5: Ensure a Smooth Transition

Make a transition plan with your team.  Say goodbye to colleagues. Offer to be a reference to others and ask to continue communication in the future.  Business News Daily’s Nicole Fallon offers some excellent ways employees can specifically help transition:

  • Outline tasks and daily routines.
  • Prioritize top projects and transfer any necessary documents or files.
  • Provide insight on the direction these projects should take.
  • Write a basic job description and identifying key qualities in a successor.
  • List contact information for people involved in projects/ essential contacts.
  • Train someone who is taking over the role in the interim.

Artemis Consultants knows the value of keeping a professional network intact after a resignation. Our recruiters coach newly hired candidates through the process to make transitions seamless.

Do you have any tips or stories on how to resign?  Please share them in the comments.

Newsletter Signup

Recent Articles