Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Best Resignation Ever

We are on the brink of another year when you are going to have to make serious, yet life-changing decisions- perhaps finding a new job. Recently, a client advised me of her decision to quit her job. She had been unhappy for a couple years and after a few sessions of confidence boosting, self-evaluation, and weighing outcomes, she decided it was time for her to seek employment elsewhere.
Lauren (name has been changed to preserve confidentiality) worked for 7 years as an administrative assistant for a medium-sized company in manufacturing. She was unhappy because, over the years she had witnessed the following:

·       Favoritism/Undeserved promotions
·       Nepotism
·       Poor decision making
·       Poor interpersonal behavior from leaders unaddressed by upper management
·       Limited to no communication from upper management

And the list goes on.  When she made the decision to leave, I was concerned about how she was going to end her tenure with the company – on a positive or negative note.  Rule #1: You never want to focus on the negative, always focus on the positive from your perspective not the company’s; this is really about you, not them. After brainstorming ideas regarding her behavior and attitude from now until she leaves, the following exit interview speech was devised:

It is with sincere regret that I must submit my resignation, effective two weeks from today. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for (name of company/supervisor); however, I feel that it is time for me to seek a different career path.  

I am fortunate to have learned so much during my time here and will confidently use those skills to my success.

Thank you for giving me the confidence I need to pursue my chosen path. Best of luck!

This brief speech does not say anything about the poor management decisions, behavior, or suggests any disgust as to why Lauren is leaving. It is always best to leave on a positive note by not pointing fingers or bashing anyone in particular (even though you may really, really want to and they may really, really deserve it). Rule #2: The key word is REFRAIN. Other important tips to remember when resigning are:

·       Leave with dignity. Tactfully say, ‘goodbye’ to your colleagues and leave out the door with your head held high. You are making a decision that you feel is for your own good, so act and look like it.

·       Give proper notice. This is a simple but often forgotten courtesy. We get so fed up with a job and immediately want to throw in the towel right then and there. Rule #3: Our reputation precedes us. Review your company’s policies on voluntary resignation, if two weeks’ notice is documented, you are obligated to give 2-weeks’ notice. So what you’re leaving, no sense in breaking rules now. This is the worst time to break rules, remember Rule #3.

·       Stay professional and productive. Just because you decide to leave, does not mean you should change your attitude. In fact, take it up a notch and go the extra mile on a project or prepare notes for your successor. Nothing looks better than a team player who’s leaving, and is still playing the game, giving 110%, until the game ends.

Company’s hate to see employees leave because it costs time and money to find replacements; however, sometimes there is no choice, especially when the employee has detached themselves. As administrative professionals, it is our job to remain professional; otherwise, we would be called ‘administrative un-professionals.’ Rules #1, #2, and #3.