Aug 10, 2017

30 Career Experts Teach How To Resign Gracefully

Studies have shown that the average person changes ten different jobs before the age forty and this number is expected to grow in the future. It’s normal to search for a higher salary and more opportunities to advance professionally. What do you do when you have found a new job and you need to leave your current job? How should you behave to keep things professionally? Often times you quit your job due to frustrations but you can’t tell that to your current employer. To learn more about this topic we reach out to … career experts and asked them:

When someone has accepted another position and preparing to leave their current job, what is the best advice you’d give them?

We got some great insights that we want to share with you.


Heather Rothbauer-Wanish – Feather Communications

Heather Rothbauer-Wanish

If you have accepted another position and are preparing to leave your current position, it is vital that you remain professional at all times.

First, be sure to provide a written resignation letter so that the last date of employment is documented.Click To Tweet

In the letter, be sure to state that while you have enjoyed working at the organization, it is now time to make a professional change. Keep the document concise and clear; there is no reason to bad-mouth the current organization or offer reasons why you may be moving to the next company.

Next, don’t get into detailed discussions with coworkers about leaving; remember that you don’t want to burn any bridges and want to be known as a competent, forward-thinking, and responsible employee. Word travels fast and you want the word about you to remain positive at all times. Research your new company and find out everything you can PRIOR to the first day. If you can already put faces with names, understand the organizational mission, and know the key customers, you will be ahead of the learning curve that is expected with any new opportunity.

Finally, the best advice for moving to a new organization is to keep an open mind, keep the past in the past, and focus on the contributions that you can make to the new employer. Be ready to accept new methodologies, evaluate the situation that you are arriving into with the next organization, and remember that your input may be wanted and needed—in the future. Don’t try to immediately change things within the new company until you are certain that you have a good handle on the ins and outs of the employment environment.

Kelly Odell

Kelly Odell

Kelly Odell has been inspiring and entertaining groups all over the world for more than 20 years. His practical and executable insights into leadership, change, motivation and employee engagement not only leave audiences feeling inspired they are also better equipped to take the next steps in their own development as leaders and employees.

I think the best advice I can give anyone who has decided to leave their current employer to accept a new position somewhere else is to leave with class. Employers can behave very differently. Some will more or less throw you out the door as soon as you have given notice, while others will want you to work to create as smooth of a transition as possible. Some will try to keep you on board offering promises of future opportunities or lucrative financial incentives.

Others might even take the low road and trash talk you to customers or other employees. I have seen examples where a high performing employee is loved and admired by an employer right up to the day they resign when suddenly, this golden child who could do no wrong, becomes the spawn of Satan who never did anything right.

The relationship between an employee and employer is a relationship like any other.Click To Tweet

In fact, it is in some ways more complicated than other types of relationships because there are so many people involved in the relationship. Unless you work for a very small company, the “employer” part of the relationship is comprised of many individuals in the roles of managers and colleagues. There are also potential external relationships with customers, suppliers, or other third parties that are important.

In the best case, these relationships are not going to end, they are only going to transition into other types of relationships. People who were once your managers, customers, or colleagues, can migrate to being other types of important relationships. Managers can become future references, employees can become future managers, customers can become employees or employers and all of them can remain or become friends. Looking back on my own career path, the one obvious thing about my career path is that there was nothing obvious about my career path. We may have a plan, but no one knows what the future holds.

Following are just a few things to think about to help you manage your transition from one job to another:

1. Be forgiving. Don’t burn bridges.

2. Be professional. No matter how your employer chooses to handle your resignation, it is in your interest to do everything you can to end this relationship as professionally as possible.

3. Be prepared and be gracious if you get thrown out on your ear.

4. Be honest. Never, ever, take anything with you except your own personal documents or belongings. (I once had a boss who hired someone from a competitor. On the second day of work, this new employee presented my boss with his old employer’s plan for the launch of a new product. My boss immediately fired the new employee with the explanation that he was forced to fire him before he got his hands on any important information he could take to his next employer.)

5. Be generous. Be prepared to continue working for a reasonable period so you don’t leave your employer in a tight spot. This can be mentally and emotionally challenging when you have already made the decision to move on and are looking forward to starting your new position, but it can be very important for your future.

How you handle your job transition says a great deal about your character for both past and future employers. I have seen many examples of employees who left a company and then returned again several years later with better jobs and higher wages. You never know!

On the other hand, I have had employees who have left their jobs in a very poor state, call me a year or two later asking if I could be a reference to them in a new position. The way you end or “transition” relationships is in many ways as important as how you start them.

Remember, when you leave a job you aren’t ending a relationship, you are only changing it.

Shannon Battle

Shannon Battle

Always leave with the expectation of possibly returning.

Relationships are pivotal and interconnected across companies.Click To Tweet

Your reputation and character may come up in discussions during corporate functions or collaborative events. Esteem is enhanced when you can know that you left without disrupting company business.

You want to show that you are committed to the mission of your companies by bringing added dimensions that cause the company to experience upward trends in their objectives. You want to represent high-level professionalism at all times and show that you value the time your prior company invested in the growth of your successful endeavors.

Thank you so much to all the experts that contributed to this post! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below. If you enjoyed this post, please share it on social media.


Minuca Elena


Minuca is a freelance writer specialized in creating expert roundup posts. Her posts provide quality content, bring huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers. You can contact her at her blog,

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