How Graceful Job Resignations Boost Your Career

I used to think resignations were easy. Just like everyone else, I handled it with a letter, maybe a cake, and then climbing on a table, stripping to my underwear, and furiously hip-pumping while comparing ex-colleagues to various farm animals. Which, come to think of it, might be the only reason no one here has fired me yet. As it turns out, my ungraceful departures cost me a lot of advantages. In this article, I look at how a good resignation can provide an edge, and how to get the most out of one:

 

Tattooed and bangled hands writing a resignation letter

“Quitting this gang is harder than I thought. How do you spell…”

 

Why the Resignation Matters

Considering we’re on an island you can spit across, reputation counts. Industries overlap, and sometimes, we end up having to go back to the same job. If your resignation involves more hysteria than PETA in a meat packing plant, you’re burning bridges. And that’s something you do as a last resort. Aim for a graceful job resignation, which:

  • Provides strong references
  • Prevents loss of contacts
  • Allows for back-pedalling
  • Improves business opportunities
  • Covers past mistakes

 

Guy in sunnies drinking wine

This is your mortgage broker. He’s retiring tomorrow. You’re in good hands.

 

1. Provides Strong References

References don’t just verify your work experience. Employers gauge your overall worth based on how enthusiastic your last boss sounds. If you get a “Meh, he’s okay” reference, you can forget about negotiating a high salary.

Never assume your prospective employers won’t check. In industries like advertising or F&B, references are prized higher than the next door neighbour’s life. Employers in these industries tend to know each other; ask any chef or creative director, and you’ll realize most know their counterparts by name.

 

Guy behind bars

Protip: Do not list your former cell-mate as a reference.

 

To get a strong reference, make sure you speak directly to the boss when resigning. Never pass your resignation to a secretary, then dodge contact for the rest of your time. You want to make specific requests regarding your reference, like:

“Remember the Fischer account, when I worked until my eyeballs bled? It would be nice if you mention that”.

Ask your former employer to highlight the same points that you bring up in your resume (e.g. key achievements, awards, and major projects).

 

2. Prevents Loss of Contacts

 

Two old men sitting on the steps

“Eh, Cheng, you remember that report from 1967? I just finished it today. Wanted to get back to you.”

 

Your colleagues are key contacts. Assuming you’ll work in the same field, you don’t want to lose them.

At some point, you might need important data or supporting research. And if you’ve kept in touch with Alice the Research Manager from your last job, it might save you snorting illegal substances to stay awake this month. In the finance industry, this goes without question: Bankers and brokers usually stay in touch, even as they hop between companies like a frog on fire.

To keep on good terms with your former colleagues, don’t restrict your parting gifts or words to the boss. Buy everyone a small treat before going, and give away that desk lamp your ex-colleague’s always admired. At the very least, walk around and thank everyone before leaving.

 

3. Allows for Back Pedalling

 

Man facing a loudspeaker

Please step into the interview room for re-hires.

 

Maybe you couldn’t find another job. Maybe the new boss spits acid and feasts on souls. Or maybe you should’ve reconsidered joining that Internet start-up as soon as the founder asked “Does this PC come with Google”?

Well, hope you have a line back to the old job.

If your performance was at least average, it’s easier to get back an old job than to find a new one. That’s because the staff already know you, the skills you have are obviously relevant, and you need nothing beyond a 15 minute refresher. It’s easy to keep this door open: Just be polite when tending your resignation, and refrain from comparing your ex-boss to genitalia on Facebook.

 

4. Improves Business Opportunities

 

fire exxtinguisher

“You make fire extinguishers, I used to be a professional arsonist. It’s perfect!”

 

Companies work with each other. Sometimes, their goals align, even amongst rivals. And if your new employer requires something your old one can provide, you’re in a great position.

Say you work with a paint company, and your new job is in interior design. With some initiative, you can set up a deal that gives your new employer a supply discount. What better way to get yourself in the running for a raise?

As with point 3, it’s easy to obtain this edge. Just be polite when resigning. However much you detest your former employer, there’s no benefit to advertising it. Yelling may make you feel better for 15 minutes, but burning bridges won’t reverse the water under them.

 

5. Covers Past Mistakes

 

Skydiver

“Before I was a skydiving instructor, I used to be a pilot. Let’s just say one thing led to another.”

 

You might be resigning because you’ve made a disastrous error, and don’t want to write “fired” on your resume. Don’t be embarrassed; it’s happens to more people than you think. They just cover it up in their resignation.

If your boss gives you the old “resign or get fired” speech, don’t flip out. Take the opportunity, and with luck, your career record won’t suffer too much. Hey, if you’re forced to take the blame, you may as well minimize the damage. Remain professional and calm, and most former employers will be kind enough to cover for you.

Offer your apologies, and emphasize how you tried to make up for the mistake. It won’t get you re-hired, but your former employer may remember it when they get a reference call. And if you see the opportunity, ask for a letter regarding your damage control measures. This will come in handy when prospective employers grill you.

Image Credits:
Dplanet, Vox Efx , Mr. Thomas, watchsmart, stephan modry, jutta@flickr, waaghais,

Have you ever tendered a resignation? Comment and tell us how it went!

Get more Personal Finance tips and tricks on www.MoneySmart.sg

Click to Compare Singapore Home Loans, Car Insurance and Credit Cards on our other sites.



More From MoneySmart
Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • Duterte: Disband all armed groups
    Duterte: Disband all armed groups

    All armed groups, including those of the communists and Muslim secessionist groups, should be disbanded for the country to achieve stability, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday. Duterte said even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front and the New People’s Army should be asked to lay down their arms once these groups agree to join him in what he described as a unity government if he becomes President in 2016. Duterte said under the federal government that he is …

  • Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark
    Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican sought Wednesday to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. …

  • School can’t sack unwed mom – SC
    School can’t sack unwed mom – SC

    The dismissal of an employee of a Catholic school on the grounds of premarital sexual relations and pregnancy out of wedlock was illegal, the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled. In a 23-page decision promulgated on Feb. 17, the third division of the high court struck down the decision of St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove (SSCW) in Silang, Cavite to dismiss Cheryll Santos Leus for “disgraceful or immoral conduct” in violation of the school’s 1992 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (MRPS). …

  • BOC destroys P50-M smuggled shoes
    BOC destroys P50-M smuggled shoes

    The Bureau of Customs (BOC) destroyed yesterday some P50 million worth of fake footwear products earlier seized in an anti-smuggling drive. The knockoffs of popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Converse, Skechers, Northface, Leaveland, Merelle, Lacoste, Vans, Havaianas and Ipanema were confiscated from Warehouse 4 in Olivarez Compound, Parañaque City. …

  • Gunmen torch Marwan’s hut
    Gunmen torch Marwan’s hut

    Unidentified gunmen burned down the hut used by slain Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir or Marwan in a remote village in Mamasapano. The hut was torched late Tuesday, just hours after members of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Board of Inquiry made an ocular inspection of the site where 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) were killed in a firefight with Muslim rebels in Barangay Tukanalipao on Jan. 25. The SAF policemen were on a mission to capture Zulkifli, alias …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options