According to a recent survey by Deloitte, which analysed over 10,000 millennials (those born between 1983-1994), 43% of respondents planned to leave their current job before the two-year employment mark. In addition, of the people surveyed, just 28% expected to remain in their current job for more than five years.
In the past, people would work for the same company for 40 or 50 years after education, but times and attitudes have changed. Keeping this in mind, you need to be prepared to leave a job the right way to avoid burning bridges.
Consider the situation
You need to consider whether you’re leaving your job for the right reasons. Take your time and carefully consider your future because, more often than not, once you’ve handed in your resignation it is hard to retract it. Is it a colleague, or one particular aspect of your job, which is making you leave? If so, is there perhaps a way in which you can better your current working environment? If you don’t already have an alternative job lined up and this aforementioned reason is the case, then speak to your manager and see if you can come to an amicable arrangement.
Give plenty of notice
The standard notice period for most companies is two weeks unless otherwise stated in your contract of employment. Your company might ask you to stay longer however it is completely up to you whether you want to or not. Take into consideration however, if you want to maintain a good relationship, it might be worth offering yourself to help with the transition period between now and your departure. Assisting the company, despite the fact you are leaving, so that your loss to the business is felt as minimally as possible, will enhance your credibility. It will also safeguard the chance that, if you ever needed to, you could return. This assistance could be the training of a new member of staff, or a smooth project handover to your colleagues.
Once you’ve made the decision that you are leaving, the first thing to do is check your contract and see where you stand legally, as a breach of the details could result in legal ramifications, which could involve facing an employment tribunal. Whilst some employers will request that you work for longer, some may also ask you to leave immediately after you submit your resignation, so be prepared for that eventuality.
Writing your notice letter
This isn’t going to be the most exciting document that you’ll ever write, but it is a formal one, so remember to keep it that way. Address the letter to your manager and use their formal title, despite the fact you may usually call them by their first name.
It’s sometimes best to keep it brief and get straight to the point, rather than airing your frustrations. Also, there exists an opportunity within your resignation letter to ask for references and to thank your boss for their cooperation during your time of employment.
Adding the finishing touches
The following checklist will help ensure that you move on to your next job in a seamless and stress-free manner.
- Clean your computer of all your personal details and emails — it is worth doing this before you hand in your resignation in case you are escorted from your desk immediately
- Collate all necessary information regarding human resources, such as your P45 and unused holidays
- Make a list of everything you do in your role — it’s easily forgotten once you leave!
- Get your colleagues’ contact details
- Request information on the legalities of any patents you may have on work you produced whilst employed
- Don’t be overly jubilant in the fact you’re leaving
Realistically, this isn’t going to be easy. But by following these simple steps, you can make this stage in your life significantly smoother!