Whether you realize it or not, reputation counts for a lot when searching for a new job. Some industries may overlap, others may be very small, comprising of only a few companies nationwide. Depending on your situation, you may end up at a worse company, meaning you’ll have to go back to the same job.
That’s why resigning from your current job gracefully is so important – because you don’t want to burn bridges you might need in the future.
You should aim for a graceful resignation that does the following:
Provides Strong References
References don’t just verify your work experience – they provide employers with first-hand knowledge of how you perform in the workplace. Don’t assume that employers won’t contact a reference because in some industries, they can make the difference between you getting hired or not.
To get a strong reference, speak to your supervisor/boss directly and make specific requests such as mentioning particular projects that benefitted the company or awards/achievements you attained. Just remember that the right amount of praise from a reference can boost your value as a job candidate.
Maintains Your Contacts
Your colleagues are key employment contacts that you won’t want to lose. That’s because they know what it’s like to work with you and can even provide you with support at your new job. In some industries, such as banking, it’s normal for co-workers to stay connected even though they might switch jobs frequently.
Before you leave your company, be generous in your gratitude to your co-workers. If you want to leave an even better impression, give them some parting gifts to solidify your relationship.
Allows You to Backpedal
Not every job switch ends in success. Sometimes, your new job ends up being worse than the one you left – that’s why leaving the bridge back to your old job intact is so important. As long as your work performance at your last job was satisfactory and your co-workers can vouch for your skills, you’ll have a good shot at getting your old job back.
Improves Your Opportunities
In some industries, it’s normal for companies to work together, even rivals. If that’s the case, you’re in a good position to go into your new job with skills and experience that are highly sought after. But by keeping maintaining a good relationship with your last company, you can do things that benefit both – for example, setting up a deal that benefits both.
Covers Past Mistakes
If you’re resigning from your current company because of a mistake you made, it’s ok. Some mistakes might not even be your complete fault, but “falling on your sword” by resigning does minimize the damage to your career.
Plus, your former employer will remember this bit of “self sacrifice” when it comes to getting reference calls. You can also ask your employer for a letter regarding your job-ending mistake in a way that sheds positive light on the situation.