How do you resign without burning bridges?

Submitting your resignation is often double. On the one hand, you look forward to your new job or other prospects. On the other hand, the dismissal interview with your boss is often uncomfortable.

Saying goodbye to colleagues can also be a tough one. In any case, it is advisable to close your working period at the company as correctly as possible. After all, you never know when you will meet your boss or colleagues again.

Make it personal

It is absolutely not done to inform your boss last about your plans to leave the company. Talk to him or her personally about this and prepare this conversation well. You do not have to give a reason for your dismissal, but you do expect that question. So think carefully about what you want to tell and what not. Being open and transparent can promote a good conversation, but it can also work against you, for example, if you switch to the competition.

If your boss really wants to keep you, there may be a counteroffer. However, remain critical. A higher wage may seem tempting, but your salary will generally not be the only reason why you leave. If the offer does not interest you, kindly and politely decline it. Show your gratitude, but be resolute.

Tip: A dismissal always involves a lot. In our free guide, you will find countless tips to close this chapter of your life in the most correct way possible.

Avoid misunderstandings and confirm your resignation in writing

Oral submission of your resignation is not sufficient. There are three ways to submit your resignation formally and in writing. The easiest way is to send your cancellation letter to your boss during or after the dismissal interview, of which you have a copy signed for receipt. But it is also possible to submit your resignation by registered letter. The l atter, however, is exceptional and is usually only used in conflict situations.

Keep your letter of resignation short, concise and business-like. You can always provide more explanation orally. A valid letter of dismissal does at least include the following elements: the date, your name and address, the person or department you are addressing, the statement that you are resigning at the company, and the start date and duration of the statutory notice period. The letter must also be signed.

Close the letter with the mention that you want to close your time at the company nicely and that you will make the transfer go as smoothly as possible. That immediately sets the tone for a conversation about the further course of your cancellation period.

Tip: Make it easy for yourself and base your resignation letter on our example letter.

Make good agreements about the progress of your cancellation period

Discuss with your boss not only the fact that you are leaving the company, but also how that will work. In the first place the duration of your cancellation period. It is always possible to deviate from the statutory notice period if your boss agrees. This can be useful if you are expected to be on your new job as quickly as possible. Indicate what you will do to ensure that the transfer of the work goes as smoothly as possible, such as training your successor or making plans. This way you can persuade your boss to allow for a shorter period.

Also, discuss which projects or assignments you will definitely complete. Are you planning to take application leave, then agree on which days that will happen. You can also talk about when it is best to inform your colleagues.

Submitting your resignation is never pleasant, but make sure that your cancellation period can be professional and in good agreement.

Say goodbye to your colleagues in style

It is important that your colleagues think back to you with a good feeling. You never know that you will come into contact with them, especially if you continue to work in the same sector. So also inform them in a personal way, in groups or individually. Show your gratitude for the (hopefully) good cooperation and stay motivated and someone you can count on as a colleague until the end of your cancellation period.

On the other hand, it is not a good idea to be too negative about the company, the working conditions, the boss … during your cancellation period. This only creates resentment for the ‘laggards’. Also, don’t brag too much about your new job. You will not make yourself popular with it.

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