Resigning with dignity…

Don’t just quit your job

Dear Joanna:
I told my job coach that I want to leave my job yesterday. The manager got angry at me when I made a mistake at work. I’ve only been at this job for two weeks but I don’t want to work here anymore. I’m very unhappy here. My job coach is recommending that I leave with grace and dignity and not just suddenly leave. How do I do this?
Signed: Ready to leave (RTL)

Dear RTL:
After consulting with leading Reena job coaches from Channels North (community day and supported employment program), it’s confirmed that your coach is giving you the correct, and best advice. As hard as this might be for you at this time as you are upset, resigning diplomatically is the way to go. The following recommendations are offered by Ulster and Hansen’s article from www.livecareer.com.

1) Leave on good terms. Never burn your bridges. Don’t brag to your coworkers about your great new opportunity. Job hunting is an unpredictable process, and you never know when you will run into your former supervisor, co-worker, or a former employer in another situation. Never ever say anything negative about this employer in your job interviews, networking or when you get a new employer.

2) Give notice. Legally, you are required to give a minimum of two weeks. Consult your employer’s policies and/or the Collective Agreement if you are in a union. If you can, I would suggest giving extra notice as a special favour to your team and employer. Keep this in mind when discussing the job offer with your new employer.

3) Your final paycheque. Make sure you are paid for any outstanding salary, vacation, sick, personal days, commission payments or other compensation due to you.

4) Help with the transition. Offer to help your current employer find your replacement. Offer to train or work with your replacement to show them the ropes.

5) Remain an active employee until your last day! Try not to just disappear during your last weeks on the job. Stay an active member of the team and avoid taking a short-timer’s attitude or aligning yourself with any discontented coworkers. Complete all open assignments and leave detailed progress reports for your supervisor and coworkers. Work with your job coach to resolve the issue with your manager. You might decide to stay in the end! If you can when you have a new job, consider being available for questions from the new employee or your former team. Do this only if you have time in your new role. That takes priority.

6) Exit interview. This type of interview is usually offered to employees who resign and asks for feedback (positive and negative experiences with the company). Often, it’s administered by the human resources staff. Not all companies have this procedure. And if you are offered such an exit interview to provide feedback, I would caution you with your response to the question. It depends on where the information goes – i.e. what will happen to your feedback. Will it be used against you? Would your input jeopardize your chances of getting a good reference? Stay tuned for a employment advice column on this topic.

7) References. Keep networking. Keep in touch with your (soon to be former) colleagues and supervisors, especially those who you want to keep as network contacts and references. Make sure you are connected with them on Linkedin, Twitter and any other social media venues.

Joanna Samuels, MEd, is an adult educator with an expertise in career/job coaching and community/business partnership building.

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