Is there such a thing as a good resignation? Absolutely. Does it involve setting fire to bridges, metaphorically and maybe physically, depending on where you work? Absolutely not. A good resignation can protect, and even strengthen your professional reputation, so whatever the reason for leaving, it’s important to quit well.
Whether you’re switching careers, taking a more senior role elsewhere, or simply despise everyone you work with, here are our tips to help you maintain positive relationships.
Resignation is a Perfectly Normal Part of Working Life
Resigning from your job can be incredibly nerve-wracking, but it’s important to remember that it’s a perfectly standard part of working life – 50 million Americans did it in 2022 alone, and many of them went on to enjoy fulfilling ventures elsewhere as a result.
It doesn’t mean it’s not a trying process. Resigning can be emotional, especially if you’ve if you made some strong bonds with your co-workers. Resignations impact a range of interpersonal relationships, but reducing the burden is possible.
It can seem tough, or even downright impossible, to remain civil when you’re harbouring negativity towards your soon-to-be-ex-employer. Civility, graciousness, and politeness are powerful tools, and you’ll need to use them when you deliver the news.
Here are some tips to help you:
- Say thank you for the experiences you’ve had and the skills you’ve learnt during your time in the role.
- Think about your favourite moment at the job if you’re struggling to say anything positive.
- Keep your resignation email as brief as possible (statement of resignation, thankfulness for the opportunity, end date).
- Try and avoid getting pushed into a lengthy discussion if possible (there will likely be a chance to vocalise your opinions on the company in an exit interview if that’s something you’re after)
- Remember that there’s every chance you’ll encounter your colleagues, and maybe even your manager, later on down the professional line. This may help you maintain a positive outlook if you’re struggling to think of something nice to say.
- Rehearse what you’re going to say beforehand!
Tell Your Manager First
Try and avoid telling any of your co-workers before you get a chance to talk to your manager about it. It’s important your manager hears it from the horse’s mouth and not in office whispers.
If your manager does end up hearing about your resignation through the grapevine, it could greatly damage your reputation in the company. This might seem like no big deal because you’re leaving anyway, but networks are wide-reaching, and when they talk, they’re hard to ignore.
Wrap it Up Neatly
Leaving a whole load of loose ends for your ex-colleagues to trip over will leave the wrong kind of lasting impression. It’s worth finishing up as much of your outstanding work as you possibly can, otherwise, you could be risking a reference or two falling through. ‘Yes, they were good, but they left us with an unclimbable mountain of paperwork,’ isn’t what a prospective employer wants to hear. Probably.
This also looks good for your future endeavours – it showcases your commitment to your work and positions you as the ever-valuable completer/finisher type.
Avoid the Counteroffer
Counteroffers are more than a persistent thorn in the side of recruiters and would-be employers everywhere, they’re potentially harmful to one’s career trajectory. There are very, very, very, few situations in which taking the counteroffer is the right choice.
Unless your career move has fallen through or your circumstances have drastically changed, requiring you to remain in your current role (or all you care about is money) then it could be worth considering, Otherwise, avoid at all costs.
If you’d like to chat with us about life sciences careers directly, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we love connecting ambitious, talented individuals with roles they can thrive in.
Is there a job waiting for you? Whether or not you’ve got something lined up, a resignation can’t always wait. Let us know what you’re looking for, and we can connect you with the right opportunity.
Reach out to the team at BioTalent today. We’re your specialist life science recruitment partners, and we’re here to make a difference.