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5 Tips on Resigning Gracefully


Making the decision to leave your company can be extremely intimidating even when you know it’s the best decision. When the stress and unhappiness starts to become insurmountable you will slowly start feeling the pull to throw in the towel.


Then you start to have those hypothetical conversations with friends about how you would exit your company if you suddenly won the lottery and came into a large lump sum of money. There’s always that one person who has a funny fictional tale about how they would light their horrible boss on fire then scream, “I QUIT,!” in the daily office meeting while standing on top of of a conference room table.


But let’s face it,  that would probably end with handcuffs and a mugshot.So I am here to save you! Before shooting off a quick “effective immediately,” email and burning rubber out of the parking lot, let’s first consider your brand and relationships.



So take a deep breath. Your exit strategy and professional behavior says more about you then the company. The best and most impressive way to end a relationship is transparently and gracefully. Here are five tips you can follow to ensure your exit is gracefully:


  1. Draft up a formal resignation free of emotional language and judgment. Stick to the summary of your decision; provide your regret and a high level reason for leaving “i.e. better opportunity for advancement”.
  2. Next, setup time to deliver the message in person followed by delivering your formal letter you pre-drafted.
  3. Avoid the pitfalls of an extreme reaction like tears, anger, or walking out. In addition, aggressively written letters defaming the leaders or the company are a sure fire way to make yourself ineligible for a great reference.
  1. If you want to provide feedback, ask for an exit survey. This would be the most appropriate way to share constructive feedback and opportunities for the company. Companies don’t get better unless they know why talent is walking out the door so consider professionally delivered feedback or requesting an exit interview to share your concerns.
  2. Lastly, give at a minimum a two week notice. Be sure to properly transfer your proprietary knowledge, projects, and property back to the company.


When it’s all said and done remember your exit says more about you then your entrance. Don’t let all your amazing accomplishments get overshadowed by bad behavior. The career world always comes full circle. Even when the company or “bad boss” deserves it …take the high road. Your career and reputation will thank you later.





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