Making the decision to leave a job isn’t easy. Arguably, one of the toughest parts about a resignation is to find the most appropriate opportunity to bring up the topic and make arrangements to leave your job on a good note with your soon-to-be ex-colleagues.
Rachel Ho works as a Human Resources manager in a multi-national corporation. In this article, Rachel shares with us some insights and advice on how Singaporeans can resign from their jobs in a smooth and professional way.
#1 Make Sure You Have Finalised The Employment Details With Your New Employer
It is important to have all the employment details, such as the commencement date, remuneration package, confirmed with your new employer before tendering your resignation. Ensure that everything is set in stone before you tender your resignation.
To be on more solid ground, signing off on the dotted line puts all parties on the same page to prevent any miscommunications to arise during the transition.
Rachel shares: “I would say getting a black and white agreement with the new employer is essential. That will prevent you from getting into sticky situations with employers who renege on their original offer and instead leave their would-be employees hanging with lesser terms thereafter.”
#2 Tell Your Direct Superior Before Anyone Else
News travels fast, especially news like your resignation. Once you’ve made up your mind to resign, let your direct superior be the first person you inform. The last thing you want is for them to hear it from someone else. This is common courtesy and in keeping with the proper chain of communication.
This way, you won’t be burning any bridges either.
#3 Initiate A Transition Plan
Taking the initiative to work out a transition plan shows that you still care about the company. Keep your plan simple and suggest colleagues who would be most suitable to takeover your role. Your boss will make the ultimate decision, but your efforts show that you’ve thought about what would be best for the company.
Rachel continues: “Respect that your boss may not want you to announce your departure from the company until they have a transition plan or a timeline in place for someone new. It would be a nice gesture to be flexible and explore extending your notice period if they are unable to on-board a replacement in time. If your role is hard to fill, work out a win-win arrangement with your employer. Find a way that works best for both parties.”
#4 Have Consistent Reasons Why You Are Leaving
Prepare a coherent explanation for your departure. Keep your story short, neutral and truthful to avoid rumors and speculation due to inconsistent sharing with other colleagues.
Rachel’s word of advice: “Never badmouth anyone, whether its before or after you leave. Any given industry is small enough such that everyone knows everybody. So things can go downhill fast if word of your badmouthing gets out.”
#5 Be Prepared For The Worst
Things may not turn out the way you expect everytime. There may be instances where your boss decides to terminate your employment on the spot due to the sensitive nature of your job or conflicts of interests that may arise with your new employer.
Some companies have a policy where you are will be placed on paid but mandatory “Garden Leave”. If so, ensure they abide the MOM’s rules and regulations and that you are properly compensated for the arrangement.
Rachel: “I’ve come across unreasonable bosses who refused to accept your resignation. In this situation, it is important to escalate the resignation and notify the Human Resources directly. On the other hand, I’ve met employees who took medical leave all the way after they resigned. Such disruptive and unprofessional behaviour affects the team’s morale and does not reflect well on the resignees, even if they have been performing well before.”
Give 100%, Right Up To Your Last Day
Employees should not put in less effort at work after they’ve handed in their resignation. After all, you still have a responsibility to fulfill. Behaving professionally reflects the kind of values you have, and allows you to leave with a clear conscience. This places you in the best possible position to embark on the next chapter of your career!
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