Most people want to leave their old jobs on good terms, which is completely understandable. After all, you’ll probably need a reference from them someday! If you follow Francis James’ 5 steps, you’ll find yourself leaving your old job on the best of terms so you can’t start fresh without feeling guilty.

Give plenty of notice

Most of the time your contract will dictate how much notice you have to give before leaving. The standard time is two weeks, however, if you can give more notice than this it may make things easier on your old employer. They’ll need time to fill the big shoes you’re leaving!

If you’re a casual employee, you may not be contractually required to give notice. Although, doing so will ensure you leave on good terms and have the opportunity to come back if needed.

Write a considerate resignation letter

The stock standard resignation letter just gives your employer notice of your intention to leave. While supplying one of these is a necessary courtesy, there’s no reason you can’t add to it! An example of fleshing out your resignation letter could read;

‘To Karen,

I regret to inform you that as of 01/02/2020 I will be resigning from my position as legal secretary. I have been offered a graduate position at Richardson & Lynch which I found through recruitment agency Francis James.

I’d like to take this time to thank you personally for the opportunities you’ve afforded me. The team here at Richardson & Lynch have been so kind and patient and have helped me grow as a person. I will practice what I learned here and continue growing the skills this company helped me develop.

Kind regards,

Emma Davis’

Don’t be a coward, do it face-to-face

Yes, it’s scary. We know! However, resigning face-to-face is going to leave your old employer feeling that you are a respectful person. If they finish on good terms with you, they are far more likely to speak favourably of you when it comes time to give a reference. Additionally, it gives your employer an opportunity to make a counteroffer which may work in your favour. If you’re changing jobs for a pay increase, they may be willing to match it just too keep you around. Ultimately, you’re also going to feel a lot better leaving the room with definitive closure.

Ask for a reference

If you’ve followed all the steps up to here, there shouldn’t be bad blood between you and your old employer. If they seem content with how you’ve handled it, feel free to ask if they’ll be a reference for you in the future. Hell, if you were a good employee, there’s a good chance they’ll offer you one anyway.

Say goodbye properly

Take the time to go around the office and say your farewells. It may leave a sour taste if you neglect a co-worker you’ve been working alongside for years. Plus, you never know which of these people you’ll work with again… or work for!