Etiquette for Leaving Your Current Employer
If you have decided to accept another position and leave your current employer, you should consider the following:
Look before you leap
Before tendering your resignation with your present employer, be certain that the offer you have received for that great new job is solid; don’t make the same mistake as one of our clients.
Filling out an application during an interview for a prominent financial firm, our client was asked to include information concerning his entire work history and to ensure the veracity of that data. As his background had been lengthy, containing positions in fields unrelated to the job for which he was applying, our client had trouble recalling some exact dates and job titles. Apprising the human resources manager of this, he was advised to fill out the form to the best of his recollection. Several days later, he received the job offer and, assuming it had been made in good faith, submitted his resignation to his current employer. Imagine his dismay when the financial company informed him that they were rescinding the offer of employment as he had “lied” on his application!
Reiterating his conversation with the human resources manager, our client learned that, as the firm’s hiring practices were mandated by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), errors equated to falsehoods, constituting breaches of regulations. When our client sheepishly returned to his original employer with the hope of salvaging his job, he was told that, in light of his resignation, he had already been replaced.
Put it in writing
When you are assured of and accept a firm offer, it is both considerate and good business protocol to give your current employer at least two weeks notice and to do so officially, by drafting a letter of resignation. As this document will become part of your permanent file and may one day reflect your business ethics to a potential employer seeking references, be professional! Avoid the temptation to put in writing any negative issues or occurrences that caused you to seek new career opportunities.
A question of length
Among career professionals, there are two schools of thought concerning the length of letters of resignation. Some subscribe to the concept of short and sweet, recommending that a brief letter be followed by a more in-depth, face-to-face discussion with your manager. Others favor a longer written explanation, particularly if yours is a case of separating from an employer with whom you have enjoyed a positive relationship.
Regardless of its length, the code of business conduct requires that if you intend to leave your employer, you present him or her with a letter of resignation. The letter should be addressed and submitted to your immediate supervisor as well as copied (‘cc’d”) to the human resources manager and any other managers with whom you regularly worked.
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