Kendra Nicastro
Kendra Nicastro

At some point in your working life, you will leave a place of employment. Whether to advance your career, seek additional training or to accommodate a personal or family situation, the goal should be to exit your job gracefully.

But what does it mean to resign from a job gracefully? It means to leave in such a way that:

  • Actions and decisions are dictated by dignity and respect. 
  • Goodwill is maintained between you and the employer.

A graceful exit takes time to plan and execute. One cannot simply decide to leave and then just quit; unless your goal is to burn bridges. And really, who wants to do that? So, craft a parting that leaves the door open for a positive reference from the employer in the future and doesn’t leave the company in a lurch.

A proper resignation should include four components.

  1. An adequate amount of notice given 

A two-week notice is required in many instances, although a more extended period of time may be appreciated or even required in some situations. Refer to your employment agreement or employee handbook to learn how much notice is expected before making final decisions.

  1. Notify your supervisor in person

Do not allow the supervisor to hear of your resignation through the grapevine. Out of courtesy and because it’s the right thing to do, tell your supervisor of your intention to leave before sharing with co-workers or clients. While in-person is the best option, a telephone call will work when circumstances prevent an in-person conversation.

In addition to the conversation, deliver an official resignation letter. Include the details of when you plan to leave, the reason for your resignation and your appreciation for the opportunities this position has afforded you.

P.S. Do not resign via email. Or text. 

  1. Wrap up any loose ends  

Rather than coast through the notice period, tie up all the loose ends that you can. Focus on completing as many tasks as possible between the time of resignation and your last day. While some folks feel justified in adopting an “it’s no longer my problem” attitude, make a graceful exit by choosing not to slack off but instead continue to be “on the job” until the end.

  1. Offer to train your successor

If a new hire is in place before your exit or a current employee will be stepping into your role, offer to help acclimate this person to the position. Either way, document your typical processes and provide progress reports in writing on any large projects. Anything you can do to assist your replacement’s success will be appreciated by the new guy or gal and the company leadership. It’s one of the pivotal ways to leave a lasting positive impression.

Above all, when you leave your current job, be positive. No matter the circumstances for leaving your position, having a negative attitude can affect you in the future. The healthcare field is much smaller than we think so this isn’t the time to be overly negative.

Kendra Nicastro is the Director of Business Development for LeaderStat, and interim staffing, executive recruiting and consulting firm.