For anyone who has been in a job they hate, you’ll know the moment you can finally resign feels delicious. But rather than leaving in a blaze of glory telling your boss how much you despise them, it is far more sensible to leave with your reputation intact (sorry!)

Wait until it’s official 

Don’t resign from your current position until you have your contract through from your new boss. It’s not unheard of for job offers to be rescinded, perhaps due to internal changes or candidate availability changing.

Wait until you’ve got a new contract to avoid being left with no job at all!

Read the small print

It’s a good starting point to re-read your contract and find out what your notice period is so you can plan to do resign at the best time.

It is also worth checking if you have any clauses in your contract, such as ‘non-compete’ which mean you can’t work for a competitor or poach your current clients after you have left.

Schedule a meeting with your employer

 It’s not going to be the easiest of conversations, but it’s far better to do it face to face than with a cowardly email that might catch them off guard. Remember – you will want a reference from them, so it’s good to keep them on side by being up front.

Once you have scheduled a meeting, they might suspect what it’s about and prepare a counteroffer – perhaps a new role or pay increase. If that offer doesn’t change the reasons why you want to leave, bear that in mind, but you should hear your boss out.

We also wouldn’t suggest launching into a barrage of negativity about your current workplace. You want to keep the respect of your employer to ensure you continue to get a good reference. Don’t give them anything negative to say about you in your sector. Word gets around!

Make it official

Follow up your chat by putting your resignation in writing to your HR team via email. Use this opportunity to confirm when you will receive your final pay cheque and what will happen to any unused holiday.

The notice period

Always honour your notice period and maintain your professionalism through to your final day. You might be put on gardening leave, which means you don’t have to come in to work during your notice period, but you still get paid!

Make sure all your loose ends are tied up and any unfinished items are handed over in good time. You don’t want to give your colleagues a reason to moan about you once you’ve left!

You might work with them again in the future, so be respectful and ask for contact details to stay in touch.

On your last day, finish on a high (so no dramatic Bridget Jones style speeches about your terrible boss!) and leave with your head held high and your reputation intact.

If you’re looking for a new job, we might be able to help. Take a look at our job listings here.