This is the second and final article in the ‘I Quit’ series. These articles are meant to provide you with some insight into the resignation process from an employer perspective. In this article, I will discuss what happens (or should happen) after you tell your manager you are leaving the company.
As I mentioned in the first article, entitled, ‘ I QUIT! The When and How of Resignation‘, I have accepted numerous resignations in my time as a business owner and manager, and the nature and tone of those resignations is as varied as the people working in and with my business over the past twenty years. After years of experience, I have concluded that, while there are many ways to quit your job, there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to take on this process. If you haven’t already read the first article in this series, you will want to do so. It covers the ‘when’ and the ‘how’ of the resignation process.
So, let’s talk about what happens during the time after you resign and before you leave the company. Once you deliver your resignation letter and meet with your manager, you might think the important steps are finished. But, there is much to be done, before you leave, and those tasks are important, not only for your employer but for your reputation and your professional future.
Before You Go
Once you have given notice, you can discuss your remaining time at the company. Those notes you took before the meeting will come in handy here. Make suggestions on how you might ease the transition. Can you train a particular person or team to take over responsibilities while your manager searches for a replacement? Is there someone in particular your manager might consider as your replacement? Could you train them? What projects do you need to complete? Outline the tasks and tell your manager what you expect to complete before your departure.
After you talk to your manager, and to HR and your team, resist the temptation to kick back and wait for your departure date. Get the work done. Do not disrupt the work process. If you are leaving because you are unhappy, do not engage in poisonous rhetoric in the break room or encourage others to leave. Do your job and impress others with your professionalism.
Before your last day, be sure all exit paperwork is complete, and that you have taken care of all benefits, experience certificates, relieve letters, etc.
After You Leave
Here is the point where I tell you why you want your employer to be happy! Whether your relationship with your prior employer was good or bad, your ex-manager, your teammates and colleagues will remember your professionalism.
You finished your last day at the company and you are moving on – hopefully to a great new job in a new company. Whether you know it or not everyone was watching you and judging how you handled the resignation process. Younger team members will learn from your behavior. Your old colleagues may leave the company and you may wish to hire them or have them considered for employment in your new company. They will WANT to work with you because they perceive you as being professional. Your ex-manager may become a client when you start your new business. You may be nominated for an industry panel or position by someone with whom you used to work. All of those things are possible and some are probable.
Most of us work in a small professional community and our behavior and attitude follow us from one company and career experience to another.
THAT is why you want your ex-manager to be grateful.
Oh, and one last thing before you update your resume and put that previous job in the rearview mirror! Keep in touch with your previous team, your ex-manager, your professional contacts. Call them and ask if they are going to an industry event and arrange to meet them there for a cup of coffee. Call to ask how they are doing. Call your manager a month or two after you leave and ask how things are going. Offer to answer any questions they might have.
In short, be mature and professional, and make your old colleagues miss you.
That’s the way to resign!