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4 “Resignation Etiquette” Strategies

According to the statistics making daily headlines and the HELP WANTED signs posted in an astounding number of establishments, it’s the season for resignations.

Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University attributes the “Great Resignation” to four leading causes:

  • A backlog of workers who resisted the urge to quit in the early days of the pandemic but are resisting no more.
  • Burnout, especially among frontline workers in health care, food service, and retail.
  • Significant shifts in identity and purpose due to “pandemic epiphanies” encouraging the pursuit of new careers or business start-ups.
  • People who developed an aversion to returning to the office after a year or more of working remotely.

Whatever the reason driving this record number of resignations, those leaving behind the old need to remember there’s a way to quit that will not come back to haunt you. It begins with a focus on the basics of “resignation etiquette.”

  1. A proper resignation begins with a conversation between the employee and the supervisor, preferably one that takes place in person. Then, to be both professional and demonstrate concern for future employment opportunities, follow up with a written letter of resignation that can be placed in one’s employee file. Sharing the news with co-workers first is a big no-no, as that approach may result in management learning via the grapevine of the employee’s impending departure.

Best bet: Personally speak to each supervisor or member of management and each person on the team or in the department.

  1. Stay on top of your responsibilities and remain accountable. In other words, don’t be a “lame duck.” Don’t give the standard, expected two-week notice and then stay on the job in body only, doing little to nothing or flitting about on imaginary tying-up-loose-ends errands. Instead, be fully present—mind, body, and spirit—until the last punch of the time clock.

Best bet: Contact clients or business associates with the name of your successor, if possible, or with general information about whom they should contact in the future.

  1. Only take what belongs to you. Of course, proprietary information and ideas that belong to the company are obvious ‘leave-behinds,’ but also include the ‘little stuff’ such as the stapler that no one but you uses or the tape dispenser that’s so quirky you’re the only person who can figure it out. Even if no one will miss a couple of used file folders, name badge holders, or partially used legal pads, leave them behind.

Best bet: Leave a clean, clutter-free work area. What doesn’t belong to you should be left in neat order; all personal items – including plants, should be boxed up and taken with you.

4.      Organize your files. Leave detailed notes on work projects and initiate conversations with team members to ensure a smooth transition. Be a team player until the end, firmly refusing to adopt an “it’s no longer any of my concern” attitude.

Best bet: If the opportunity to train your replacement presents itself, welcome it and bring your A-game. Willingly share tips and tricks and the kind of insider information that you wished someone had shared with you in the early days. Major on the positives about the company and leave it at that.

During these challenging post-pandemic times, A.R. Mazzotta has the tools, the resources, and the experience to bridge the gaps between job seekers and companies with open positions. Making right-fit connections is our specialty.

Best bet: Partner with A. R. Mazzotta today.