No matter how much you love your job, there will come a time when you must leave. The reasons are varied. A quick scroll through Work Is Life Facebook page will reveal that it’s stress most of the time. Some would say they need career growth and they want to explore other opportunities. Others just find their workplace, managers, and colleagues toxic that staying even just for a few more months isn’t an option. There are many more reasons, and they are all valid.
But then, leaving your job is not as easy as it sounds. Like job-hunting, quitting has its own set of difficulties. It’s like high school graduation all over again. You’d feel extremely happy with a little bit of sadness, but there’s also confusion. If you have decided to part ways with your employer, here’s a quick guide on how to do that graceful exit.
Keep your resignation letter short
The resignation notice, like your cover letter, is not that easy to write. You’ll possibly end up culling a resignation letter template from the internet or copy your recently resigned co-worker’s letter. Well, it doesn’t really matter as long as you indicate your reason for leaving and the date of your exit.
Harvard Business Review suggests that you should include a compliment for your employer. This can be a simple show of gratitude for the things you’ve learned on the job along with well wishes for the company. A compliment, however, doesn’t mean that you have to make up insincere praises or an essay reminiscing all the good times you’ve had at work. Remember, the resignation is still an official document that formalizes your exit.
Before you hand the letter, make sure you talk with your superiors about your decision. Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be afraid about discussing your resignation.
Also read: Don’t hate me for being a job-hopper
Don’t burn bridges
When I left my job, I decided to rest and placed job hunting at the backburner. During that period, I relied on freelance gigs I got from my previous colleagues. And that’s one reason why it’s important to keep in touch with your co-workers. But beyond that, leaving in good faith is also vital for your next career step.
Whatever your reason for leaving is, your stay at your current company can influence your future. Human resource personnels will refer to your previous company for your work ethics and even your abilities.
For sure, you’ve also made valuable friendships during your stay. Those are important in life. And I’m telling you now: You will miss them so badly.
Leave with a plan
Sometimes, quitting feels like the only way to put your life back to normal. Waking up without the anxiety of what you must do on that day, going on a day without a crazy schedule, and sleeping before 10 p.m. sound so good. For many people, this time of rest is just what they need. But let’s be honest, leaving your job for a few months of rest is just a fantasy.
If you insist however, be prepared financially. Before you leave, it’s recommended that you set aside emergency funds that can cover your expenses for at least six months. This should cover rent, utility expenses, groceries, and other important living expenses. Get your leisure and travel funds somewhere else.
But what will you do after your rest period? You can’t just rest forever, unless you’re financially secured. Job-searching can be difficult these days, so it’s better if you casually look for jobs on your free time. This time, you have to define what you really want and take on a job that will truly shape your career path.
Don’t feel guilty about leaving
It’s hard to quit your job. After you’ve realized how stress-free your mornings will be after your last day—no matter how you feel unimportant you are—your next thoughts will probably center on how your team will go on without you. Yes, as with any circumstance where someone leaves, the team’s routine would have to be altered—someone has to take the responsibilities you’re leaving after all.
But let me tell you this: Your team and your company will be fine without you. You might be a star employee at work, but that doesn’t mean you’re irreplaceable. You are not special. Everything about the projects you’re leaving will be fine soon enough even without your presence.
If anything, the most sensible help you can offer is help your human resources department find a replacement and assist the team with turnovers. Once you’ve done it, your exit will most likely be pleasant.
Leaving your job might be hard, especially one that is dear to you. It’s a natural part of adulting. And if you feel you must do it, do it. Just remember to assess your goals and communicate with your managers. After all, leaving is not always the answer.
Art by Aira Ydette