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Best way to leave a job

Most students have tried writing job applications and looking for work. But sooner or later, many will also experience the opposite, resigning from their jobs. You may not be happy with where you work, are too busy studying, have found a better, or more study relevant job. But how do you go leave your job professionally?

Resignation letter

In practical terms, it is a good idea to resign in writing. Then you have documentation that you have resigned, when you resigned, etc.

Before you resign however, remember to check your contract which will include relevant terms and conditions. 

In many cases you have to work a notice period, typically a month.  So you can’t just resign and leave that same day, you still have to complete your notice period.

If you can have immediate termination and do not want a big fuss, it may be a good idea to resign on a Friday - then you get a quiet exit without too many awkward moments.

”I quit because …”

Are you sweating at the thought of having to resign and admit that you really don’t like your workplace? Then you can wipe the sweat off your forehead - because you actually don’t have to state the reason why. It is good practice to include a reason, be professional and succinct.

Say goodbye well in advance

It is also professional to resign giving as much notice as possible.  Your employer will appreciate this so they can hire a new incumbent and you will also have the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to your colleagues.

Tell your line manager first

You should always tell your line manager first when you want to resign. Whilst it may be tempting to talk about it with your colleagues, you run the risk of your boss finding out about your resignation from someone other than you - that's certainly not smart.

Leave a good impression

It may be common sense that you should leave the workplace in a positive way, but if you are frustrated with your job you may be tempted to not give your best in those last few days and weeks. It's unprofessional. The next time you apply for a job, your previous employer may be contacted for a reference and you will want this to be a glowing one!

Help with the training

If your successor needs to be trained then it is a good idea to ask if there is anything you can do to assist. It is both an advantage for your employer and the new starter.  As you pass on your knowledge and engage with the other person you may learn something from them and their approach, this may be of use when the time comes for you to be the new starter.

Ask for a recommendation

If you have been good at your job and have a good relationship with your line manager, you may be lucky enough to get a recommendation along the way. A recommendation is worth its weight in gold when applying for a new job as it shows that you are valued.

However, it is not a requirement that an employer gives you a recommendation - and that is why it is so important that you remain professional to your very last day, resign in a good way and show that you are a good employee.

When you start a new student job or a job after graduation, be brave.

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