Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

by Hayley Fletcher

23rd October 2014

Sweaty palms? Nervous butterflies in your stomach? Not quite sure how to start the conversation? Thinking of starting with, “It's not you, it's me, I just need a change?"

Hayley Fletcher, Senior Consultant, Accountancy and Finance

Nope, we're not talking about that type of break-up, but the break-up between you and your employer.

It's never easy telling an employer that you are leaving but if you exit as a professional it will be a smoother transition.

It's polite to speak to your boss first, before you hand in a resignation letter. If it's not possible to meet your manager in person then telephone or Skype are good alternatives. Remember to remain professional and respectful because how you conduct yourself affects your reputation.

The next step is your official resignation letter which is formal notification you are leaving the company and will be added to your employment file. Keep your letter short, clear and concise. You don't need to give lots of explanations or justify why you're leaving, or where you're moving to. By the time you come to think about writing this letter you've probably accepted an offer of employment, are taking time out from working or are pursuing other life plans, so there's no point elaborating on your reasons - you've made your decision and there's no going back.

Simply advise when you are leaving and thank the employer for the opportunities you've had during your employment. Mentioning what you appreciated about working at the company is a graceful touch - you don't want to burn your bridges after all. You might not want to work for the company again, but remember, paths could cross with your ex-line manager or other colleagues in the future.

It's also advisable to offer your help during the transition period of finding a replacement for you and take the time to confirm your end of employment benefit position, for example, holidays you have accrued or over-time payments you are owed.

Making sure your exit is as professional as possible will help you retain credibility. This includes how you conduct yourself during an exit interview. Ending a constructive working relationship on a sour note is pointless, particularly if you could need to request a reference in the future.

Remember, keep it simple, be positive and leave a good impression!

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