By Bayside Group

Aug 27, 2019

How to resign and leave on good terms

Resigning is something that most employees will do at some point in their working lives. But this doesn’t make the experience any more pleasant. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a great experience with the company or a negative one, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about handing in your notice. You never know where your career will end up in the coming years, so it’s wise to act with caution and ensure you don’t burn any bridges along the way.

Here is a list of tips to help you navigate the path of resignation, to make sure you leave on good terms and with the best chance of a glowing recommendation.


Check your contract for the required notice period

Regardless of whether you are a full time or part-time worker, all contracts by Australian law are required to include a notice period. Unless your working situation is untenable, giving two weeks notice is standard practice and what you can usually expect of a required notice period. However it is important to double check this, as notice periods can vary from company to company.

Once you’re aware of the notice period, you can write this into your resignation letter, so both you and your manager are aware of you time remaining with the company.


Be courteous, not negative

No matter how much you dislike your manager or the workplace, you should never leave a bad taste in people’s mouth once you’ve resigned. Badmouthing your employer or the company to colleagues should always be avoided. Remember that you are still an employer for the duration of your notice period, so consequences will still apply.

Furthermore, if it gets back to your manager, they are unlikely to give you a glowing reference and may even bring up your negativity to a hiring manager. Remember, the way you react now could harm your employability in the future, and could even be the reason you don’t get a new job.

Instead, use your last weeks at the organisation to leave the best impression you can. This won’t just improve your chances of getting a good reference, but will also make leaving a much more pleasant experience.


Writing your resignation letter

Type up a written letter which you will give your manager during your formal meeting with them. If you are unsure of the best way to do this, you can use our Resignation Letter Template, which will give you the perfect starting point.

Your letter should be courteous but to the point. Don’t go into too much detail about your reasons for resigning – keep it short and concise.  Make sure you keep a copy of the letter for your records, and sign and date both copies.


Organise a face-to-face meeting

Your resignation should be done formally with a written notice of intent, not via text, with a phone call or email. When asking your manager for a meeting, don’t announce the reason for the requested meeting, simply say you’d like to arrange a time to discuss something with them.

During the meeting, give your manager your letter of resignation and let them know your decision to leave. Your manager may try to probe into the reasons why you are leaving so try to keep negativity out of the situation. Emphasise the positives of working for the company and reiterate that you have enjoyed you time there. Remain calm and mention that while you regret leaving, you feel that it’s time to move on.

Finally, discuss how the transition and handover period will be handled, and offer to help where you can. This could involve helping with hiring for your position, training a staff member or writing handover documents.


Know your entitlements

Once you’ve told your manager that you're leaving, be sure to get details of the employee benefits you’re entitled to when you leave. Your manager might not be completely aware of your entitlements, so make sure you check with human resources so you can get the correct information.

You may be entitled to certain leave pay outs - such as unused annual or sick leave - as well as other benefits specific to your organisation. Make sure that both you and the human resources department are aware of your entitlements, so they don’t get forgotten once you leave.

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