Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to resign?

From a reader:

Do I have a one-on-one with the manager and then send the resignation letter or just send the resignation letter straight away? What the best way to manage the resignation process?

Typically, as much as we don’t like it, this a situation that can be best managed when it’s done in-person. I would suggest that you set up a time for the discussion, before sending the resignation letter. On the other hand, if you’re working remotely, ask your manager some time for a video-conference or Skype or even a telephonic discussion, to tell him about your decision. No manager wants to be surprised by finding a mail informing him about the resignation.

However, before you get there you need to decide if you’re a 100% sure that you want out. If you have any doubts, rethink about your decision and then start the process. Since the first question from the manager would start with a “Why?” You don’t necessarily need to give him a reason, but it would seem awkward if you aren’t sure. There’s a possibility that you’re manager might take it well or act like a jerk. If he takes it well, state the actual reason tactfully. You’ll need him as a reference for future jobs. More importantly, if he was a good manager, his guidance might be valuable throughout your career! Really. If he ends up acting like a jerk, you can stick to standard replies, “I’m moving since I’ve got an excellent opportunity.” or “I’m looking for newer challenges.” or “The next job gives me more responsibilities, coupled with a better pay package.”

You’ll need to serve out your notice period. For sure. A good manager or not, serving out your notice period will help strengthen your relationship your team members/manager. No one wants to be left high and dry, especially if a project is at a critical stage. It’s a small world out there and you both could end up either working with each other or even hiring each other for a future employer! Don’t burn bridges.

It’s not your obligation, but do try and help the employer find a suitable replacement for your role. If you can, be willing to help them out for a few days even after you’ve left.

Good luck!