Resignations that Build Bridges
How to make your last impression as solid as your first
The time between accepting an offer and spending your final day at the office counts for a lot more than you might think. Today’s workplace is in constant flux — your soon-to-be former colleague could easily become tomorrow’s customer, supplier, or boss. So in the midst of your excitement about a new opportunity, make time to say a graceful goodbye. Here’s how:
- Take good care of relationships: Mend fences with any adversaries. Reminisce with valued colleagues. Plan to send thank you notes. Provide contact information and confirm you’ll stay in touch. Do everything you can to make today’s ties strong links in your future network.
- Ease the transition: Offer to train your successor. Provide ready access to project files. Give co-workers and your supervisor detailed project updates and notes. Allow troubleshooting calls in a pinch. Don’t leave behind surprises or undue frustration for those who takeover your responsibilities. A smooth exit will polish your reputation.
- Do your own housekeeping: Leave your desk, computer, files, and office or work area neat and organized. Only remove what belongs to you.
- Stay positive: Be diplomatic about your reasons for leaving. Avoid any criticism of your company, co-workers, or managers. Prepare carefully for your exit interview. Don’t say or do anything that could reflect poorly on your contributions to the company.
Put your resignation in the right words
A short, diplomatic business letter to your immediate supervisor is the best way to make a professional transition. This is also your chance to deflect counter offers and arrange the timing of your official notice.
Read these sample letters: