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Saturday, March 31, 2007

How to Write Your Resignation Letter

You have heard the old adage, "Don'tt burn any bridges." This is the most important idea to keep in mind when resigning from a job. Whether you love your current job and are leaving for a better opportunity, or you hate your present position and are fleeing to save you sanity, be sure to be polite, discreet, and mature when tendering your resignation. Your current employer will appear on your resume for years to come, and you never know when you may need a recommendation or a favor from a former boss. Remember, you build a professional reputation through your actions and behavior.

There is no need to write a dissertation. Simply construct a brief, concise note that covers all the bases. Here are a few suggestions:

Get right to the point. Start off the letter by stating your intention to resign and by mentioning your acceptance of another offer or other reason for leaving, such as moving cities.
Be sure to say when your last day of employment will be. It is common courtesy to give two weeks notice before ceasing employment.

You may wish to mention that the offer you have accepted is for a position that fits better with your personal preferences or career goals.

You should also thank your employer for the opportunity to work for his/her organization. After you start your new job, you may wish to send a letter to your former boss and coworkers with your new contact information, so that they can keep in touch and remain a part of your network.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Q&A: I'd like to quit my job, but how can I tell my boss?

Q: My annual review meeting with my boss is next week. I want to go, but I'm afraid to say anything.
Lately work has been a huge drag and I know it's time to go. I've been at this office for 4 years now. Pay is good, but promises of advancement have been broken or deferred time and time again. I have plenty of other work opportunities elsewhere and, actually, I have plans to leave this joint and start my own thing. The problem is, as things get worse, I'm also more "needed here". Moreover, I've really built a good circle of friends here. Do I mention that I am seriously considering leaving in hopes that things may change, or just be quiet and just bail when the time is right?

A: Our first advice is to resolve for yourself what is important to YOU. Write down 101 things you love (EVERYTHING and ANYTHING); look "above" that list for patterns and really important stuff.
Second (and here's the tricky part), we humans will CHOOSE to stay in simmering low-grade pain until the pain is unbearable--but not sooner. In other words, if you don't make an effort for yourself toward actually LEAVING, you'll probably stay in your shitty job for years (because the fear of leaving, with all of its risks and unknowns, is worse than the pain of staying). In order to leave, we need to make a contract with ourselves before we do so with our bosses. You need to make an "irrevocable choice".

Here's what you do: Figure out what's important. Then when you've sorted that out, walk to your boss and say, "I'll be leaving here in one year." Holy shit, it's done! Fear will come and go--you may not even know today how you're gonna leave your old job (not to mention getting a NEW ONE!) But now everyone is aware of your intentions (INCLUDING YOURSELF!). You are now on a "irrevocable path", one that will help you and move you toward actually leaving.
First, most bosses will appreciate an exit strategy rather than just quitting. Many will actually help you through your transition. A good boss knows that a good ext plan is good for everyone involved. Hope this helps.