“How you handle leaving a job says as much about your character and faith as the way you conducted yourself on the job.” – Diane Paddison

Resigning from a job can be a tough decision, no matter how long you’ve been in the role. Whether you’ve been with the company for 10 months or 10 years, you don’t want to ruin your positive reputation by leaving on a bad note. Always choose to leave a job gracefully to benefit your professional prestige.

Paychex conducted a survey in August of 2016 that thoroughly explains why employees decided to leave their jobs. Regardless of the reason for your resignation, you will want to hold on tight to the network of supervisors and colleagues that can provide a strong reference for you. You may need your contacts to assist with future employment or to provide recommendations.

The fact that people are willingly leaving their jobs for new opportunities is a sign of a great economy. Unemployment is at an all-time low at 4.6% in November 2016. This indicates a confident workforce, where people are willing to explore new career options. Still, you want to keep the door open by resigning on good terms in case you ever want to return to the company in the future or if you plan to use anyone at the company for a reference.

Before you prepare to make your exit, devise a plan to leave with your head held high. Below are a few tips from Jones Networking on how to resign without burning any bridges:

1. Arrange an in-person meeting with your Supervisor. Your direct supervisor should be the first person in the company to know about your departure before anyone else. Depending on your company policy, you may also be required to write an official resignation letter. We recommend always crafting a professionally written resignation letter.

2. Remain positive. Once you resign, resist the temptation to say anything negative about the company. Your boss may ask why you’re leaving; keep your answer simple and focus on all of the positive aspects of your job.

3. Provide at least two weeks notice. Most companies require you to sign an employment contract that states you will provide sufficient notice upon resignation. This allows time for the company to fill your position and prepare for your departure. You should be prepared to assist with training the new person and/or wrapping up loose ends during that time in a cordial and professional manner.

4. Turn in company property and do some housekeeping. Do not take any confidential files or company property with you upon your departure. Make sure your workspace is clean for the next person that occupies it and your computer is free of any personal information (saved log-ins, personal desktop photos, etc.)

Once you’ve graciously said goodbye to all of your colleagues on your last day, it is time to begin celebrating your new adventure!

If you’re ready to take the next step towards an exciting new career in 2017, visit www.jonesnet.com to view all of our current openings in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, and Charlotte, NC.